The Bed and Breakfast
portion of Goodwin House was built for Dr. Erastus
Goodwin in about 1828. Tax records show that
Dr. Goodwin owned this land since about 1811. He
purchased the land from William Law, who was one of
the Partners in the original Connecticut Land Company. It
is believed that Dr. Goodwin built the first house
in or before 1814, the year he married. That portion
of the house is now the Innkeepers Quarters. Tax records
indicate evidence of the larger brick house in 1827
or 1828. This home has been listed on the National
Register of Historic Places since 1975.
Geauga County is celebrated its bicentennial in 2006. Geauga County’s first settlement
was in Burton in 1798.
An interesting item of Geauga County History is that
in March 1823, Dr. Goodwin was one of the men of the
jury that convicted Benjamin Wright, Jr. of murdering
Zophar Warner. Benjamin Wright’s sentence, to
hang by the neck until dead, was carried out on the
third Thursday in May. The Painesville Telegraph reported
an attendance on Chardon Square of over 4,000 people,
including a cavalry, rifle companies, fife and drum
corps, out-of-county visitors, and Geaugans. This
has been the only legal capital punishment sentence
carried out in Geauga County.
The home is solidly built of a thick brick exterior,
and significantly sized posts, beams, and joists in
the interior. The stones making up the basement
walls are massive. Much of the wood flooring
on the first and second floors is original American
Chestnut. This wood floor is remarkable because American
Chestnut, once plentiful, is now extinct as a building
wood. Other original features include the cherry staircase
and banister, and exceptional woodwork trim in the
parlor and master bedroom.
A view from the attic shows original historic mortise
and tenon joinery holding the basic framework of the
house. This method, unlike modern construction
techniques, joins posts and beams together without
the use of screws or nails.
Also visible from the very steep walk-up attic stairs
is the back side of a very old, if not original, lathe
and plaster wall. This is a rare view of building
and finishing technique that is over 100 years old.
Visible nails (i.e. in the wood floor and wood trim)
are estimated to be 100 to 180 years old. Some
of the square nails appear to have been machine cut
- placing them at the end of the 19th century,
while others seem to be hand-forged – making
them much older – likely original when the house
The house is an example of transitional architecture
from Federal style (early 19th century) to Classical
or Greek Revival (beginning about 1825). The
semi-circle fans over the front door and at the top
of the front of the house are Federal elements, but
the dentil trim and gable end facing the street indicates
a Classical or Greek Revival style.
This house has been a local landmark for over 100
years. The book, Pioneer and General History
of Geauga County, published in 1880, notes Dr. Goodwin’s
house for it’s brick and masonry work. Other
houses (now gone) are located with respect to this
house. For example, “The Ford house is
across from Dr. Goodwin’s brick house.” Other
books and articles note the extensive original woodwork
in the parlor and master bedroom (now the Cherry Room.)
In about 1969, the house became, in addition to a
residence, a part time antique shop. It continued
as an antique shop, called “The Brick Townhouse”,
under two owners, until a few years ago. The
shop was primarily in the side wing, which is now the
Special furniture and antique articles are on display and some small
antiques are for sale.
Updates to the original house include a kitchen, sometime
in the middle of last century, and all new bathrooms for
the guest rooms in 2006.
By operating the Goodwin House as a Bed and Breakfast, is our wish to preserve
this historic landmark building, and to have fun and
be creative! We hope you will enjoy this house
and our hospitality as much as we enjoy sharing this
Treasure, and meeting you!