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Madisonville Bed & Breakfast is located in Madisonville, Kentucky. It is a multi-property lodging company consisting of both the Hammock Moore House Bed & Breakfast and the Ruby Lodge at Spring Lake Woods. The first of these is known for being a Victorian-style home with an abundance of antique furnishings and décor. It even hosted an episode of the American Pickers—a show that looks at historical antiques. The Ruby Lodge is located on a 70 acre stretch of land complete with a lake. The hosts and owners of the properties, Shirley and her husband, try to help their guests feel that they are “home away from home.” Madisonville and the surrounding area have a comprehensive list of attractions and activities that guests can enjoy. These range from the Land Between the Lakes and Mammoth Cave to various dining and shopping options.
Madisonville Bed & Breakfast is a multi-property lodging company in Madisonville, Kentucky. It has two properties which consist of the Ruby Lodge at Spring Lake Woods and the Hammock Moore House Bed & Breakfast.
The Hammock Moore House is a two-story home located right on Main Street. It is mainly constructed from red brick, complete with various red brick columns and chimneys, and is accented by white and tan trim. Based on this, one could say the house was built after the Victorian style. It has a large open porch on the front of the home and has an abundance of windows overlooking its property. The property’s grounds are surrounded by green ferns in the front yard and a red brick fence that encloses the backyard. Accompanying these are numerous gardens with flowers and other vegetation, as well as several large trees that provide shade for guests using the lawn.
The Ruby Lodge sits only three blocks from Main Street and is built in a revival-colonial style. It’s constructed from white wood paneling on the front of the house and darker stained wood on the back. Like the Hammock Moore House, it has an abundance of windows that guests can use to look out over the front and back yard. Additionally, there is a balcony on the front of the home and a Lakeview Patio on the back. A swimming pool and a sizeable deck-living area are also in the backyard that guests can utilize during their stay.
The grounds of the Ruby Lodge are rather extensive, spanning 70 acres. The house itself sits a quarter of a mile up the driveway away from the road. Covered in gardens, flowers, groves of mature trees, meadows, and grassy areas, guests staying at the Ruby Lodge have full range to explore, walk, lounge, or do other activities on the premises. A unique thing about this property beyond the flora and fauna on its grounds is that it also has a large 15-acre private lake sitting in its center. Connected to the lake is a dam that was built in the late 1800s. It was constructed to form the lake in the first place. Shirley, who co-owns the property with her husband, tells how it is because of the extensive acreage covered in nature that they see a wide variety of wildlife on the Ruby Lodge’s grounds. Some of these include deer, beavers, rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, various-sized turtles, foxes, birds, small garden snakes, and of course, the abundance of fish that populate the lake.
Among these two properties, Madisonville Bed & Breakfast has nine guest accommodations in total, each of which is accompanied by a private bathroom. Five of these are located in the Hammock Moore House and are called the City View Bedroom, the Fireside Bedroom, the Garden Suite, the Sunrise Bedroom, and the Victorian Bedroom. Decorated with authentic antique furniture, each of these rooms is unique in its décor, layout, and color theme. The beds are adorned with 1800s antique quilts and vary from four post beds with rather large wooden headboards to half-keisters. The color themes range from red, white, purple, orange, and green with matching furniture.
The remaining four rooms are located in the Ruby Lodge and are respectively known as the Apartment Suite, the East Veranda Room, the West Veranda Room, and the Master Suite. In contrast with the rooms at the Hammock Moore House, these guest accommodations are decorated in a much more modern style yet still have that Victorian-esque feel in the form of four-post beds and antique furniture. The color themes of these rooms range from green, blue, pink and brown, and red. The West Veranda Room has two beds allowing it to fit up to four visitors, and it has access to the front balcony—something it shares with its sister room, the East Veranda Room. The most popular unit among either property is the Master Suite. Some of the features that make this room unique are that it has a private entrance and comes complete with a king-sized 4-poster bed. It also has its own sitting room and dressing room in addition to the bedroom and bathroom. Lastly, it has access to the Lakeview Patio at the Ruby Lodge.
Breakfast is available each morning to the patrons of the Ruby Lodge at Spring Lake Woods and the Hammock Moore House Bed & Breakfast, though in different fashions. Guests staying at the Hammock Moore House are sent with a breakfast voucher to a coffee house called the Big City Market and Coffee Bar just down the street. Shirley and her husband, who own and operate the Madisonville Bed & Breakfast business, partner with the coffee house because of its proximity to the Hammock Moore House and because their daughter owns it. Their visitors can order anything on the menu, such as omelets, baked goods, breakfast sandwiches, other pastries, and of course, coffee. Shirley talks about how many of her guests like to eat breakfast there because they can get a better feel for the surrounding area and enjoy the company of local community members also eating at the establishment.
Shirley cooks breakfast herself for the guests staying at the Ruby Lodge. Though not an open menu option, this breakfast is still rather varied in its dishes. Some of the items served include egg benedict, bacon, eggs, sausage, tarts, omelets, pancakes, and grits. She also cooks various baked and breaded goods like cinnamon rolls, zucchini bread, banana bread, and other sweetbreads. Shirley also includes fresh fruit of some kind with yogurt and granola, garnished with mint leaf—which she raises on the property. Available beverages include various juices, tea, and coffee. Should guests have any special dietary needs or restrictions, Shirley does her best to accommodate as long as she is warned ahead of time.
The culture that Shirley and her husband—the owners of the properties—try to create at Madisonville Bed & Breakfast can perhaps best be described by a guest’s review, which reads, “It feels like a 'home' away from home.” Shirley talks about how they emulate this homey culture by focusing on maintaining an atmosphere of cleanliness, being hospitable, and providing good food. She hopes that her guests feel like they want to come back after they leave. Shirley talks about how because she is 75 years old and technically retired, she doesn’t have to own and run a bed & breakfast. However, she still does because she enjoys “meeting new people and serving them.” One visitor’s review reads, “Our stay was very comfortable. It is a quiet and beautiful location. Breakfast was delicious, and the hostess was a real treat to visit with!”
A unique aspect the owners try to emulate, especially at the Hammock Moore House, is the feeling of staying in an authentically antique, Victorian-style home. Shirley tells how she is very particular about making sure all their furnishings are antique, even refurbishing when she has to. One piece of furniture she is very proud of, in particular, is the antique half-kiester bed, something she describes as "very reminiscent of the Victorian style." The décor is also a detail she tries to make more antique in order to fit the desired atmosphere of the home properly. In fact, Shirley and her husband were featured on an episode of American Pickers—A television show that showcases and looks for “antique archeology”—because of their collection of old furnishings and other antique items that exist at the Hammock Moore House. One visitor who stayed at the property said, “It was quaint and quiet. It has a nice interior and comfortable beds. We had the whole house to ourselves. It was nice.”
An aspect about the Ruby Lodge the owners try to emulate is the fact that it is private and secluded while at the same time sitting on extensive grounds covered in trees, meadows, and a lake. Shirley, talking about the uniqueness of the property, says, “three blocks off of Main Street, and it’s like you’re in a park.” Some of the activities available to the guests staying on the property include badminton, walking trails, exploring the grounds, swimming in the pool, playing indoor games, and fishing on the lake. Because of the unique property, many of the guests that stay at the Ruby Lodge find it is an excellent venue for family reunions, weddings, luncheons, parties, and other events or gatherings. One of these visitors said it was a “beautiful house in the forest at the lake. Shirley was pleasant and welcoming. We had a lovely stay in the comfortable rooms.”
Madisonville Bed & Breakfast is open year-round, though its busiest season of operation is typically summertime. The demographic of the guests that stay on either of the properties is rather varied. Shirley tells how they get vacationers, people visiting family, couples on a getaway, or people out on business. Though these visitors are typically couples, it is not uncommon for large families or groups to rent out one of the properties—especially the Ruby Lodge because of its extensive grounds.
Madisonville is known by some for its big medical center, parks, and surrounding nature. Shirley describes it as a “laidback little town” where the local people are “pretty friendly.” It also has a comprehensive list of activities available for visitors of the area to participate in. Among these are golf courses, a disc golf course, a public swimming pool, and two parks. Events are often held in the parks, where country music venues or even gospel choirs will perform. Madisonville also hosts Kentucky’s largest military parade. Some dining options in the city Shirley recommends to her guests are the Green Steakhouse, the Center Street Bar and Grill, and of course her daughter’s coffee house, the Big City Market and Coffee Bar.
A couple of nearby museums popular amongst Madisonville Bed & Breakfast guests include the National Corvette Museum, which showcases more than 80 Corvettes from different time periods, and the National Quilt Museum, where guests can peruse a wide variety of quilts on display. Several well-known outdoor attractions also exist in the area. For instance, the Land Between the Lakes, a national recreation area, and the Cave-in-Rock state park, famous for a large natural cave called Mammoth Cave, are both nearby. Also close by is the Garden of the Gods, known for its abundance of unique sandstone formations and various hiking trails.
Both the Hammock Moore House and the Ruby Lodge have rather extensive histories. The dam for the lake where the Ruby Lodge sits was built over 100 years ago, back in 1889. The people of Madisonville built the dam to create the lake, which served as their first water supply. The Ruby Lake Lodge was initially built in 1956 on its rather extensive grounds. The property’s title stayed in the family of the man who built it for almost 50 years until it was purchased from his son in 2004 by Shirley and her husband—who are now the current owners and operators of the estate.
The Hammock Moore House is much older than the Ruby Lodge and almost as old as Madisonville’s dam on the lake. Also over 100 years old, It was built in 1896. After its construction, it exchanged owners several times until, in 1916, the title was purchased by a man named Mr. Hammock. He was a doctor and physician by trade and came to Madisonville to be its first, and only at the time, member of the community with this profession. In the 1930s, Mr. Hammock’s daughter moved into the house with her husband, who was a Moore. It is from these two families that the current namesake of the property came to be.
Shirley tells how Mrs. Moore loved flowers, and as such, an abundance of gardens and flowers were grown on the property, extensively covering its grounds. Because of this and the Victorian style of the house, the property was often the host for gatherings among Madisonville’s upper class. The doctor’s daughter, Mrs. Moore, often had other doctors’ daughters over for soirée’s, gatherings for tea, and other events. The current owner, Shirley, says she still has old newspaper clippings of articles detailing things like “so and so visited miss Moore...” She also has pictures of the ladies playing badminton in the backyard, a popular pastime of theirs during their soirée’s and parties. In fact, the Brick wall that surrounds the backyard of the property served as the out-of-bounds of the badminton court.
There is also a brief history regarding how Shirley and her husband entered the lodging industry. Her husband had just retired, and she was getting ready to do so herself when they bought the Hammock Moore House to live in themselves. However, even though they were retiring, Shirley tells how they both love to work and felt they would be happier if they still pursued career projects regardless of going into retirement. While her husband entered the culinary business and bought a restaurant, Shirley decided that since they were empty-nesters in a rather large Victorian-style home, she would convert it into a bed and breakfast.
Over the next few years, she and her husband fixed up the property, renovating and remodeling in order to provide future guests with all the modern amenities and features associated with the lodging industry today. As they did, they focused on a couple of factors they felt were important. Firstly, Shirley wanted each guest room to have its own private bathroom, which required a significant amount of renovation. Secondly, because of the house’s history, they felt that they should uphold the Victorian, antique style of the home. This desire required them to purchase or refurbish only antique furniture and be detailed in their remodeling processes.
After they finished remodeling, Shirley and her husband opened the Hammock Moore House for business as the first property of the Madisonville Bed & Breakfast company. Since then, they have added the Ruby Lodge to their list of properties and, for a time, even had a third lodging home called the Lake House—a property they have since sold. They have also increased their ownership of restaurants from one to two. Shirley tells how even though she is 75 years old, she still loves to work and doesn't plan on ending any time soon.