Rushing Waters – powerful and soothing
© Becky Linhardt 2011
Stockport Mill Inn – its name defines its status as an inn, in a renovated mill, in the town of Stockport, Ohio. The name though can not describe the natural beauty of its location on the Muskingum River or the sound of the water as it rushes over the lowhead dam that stretches across the river connecting the inn and Lock #6 on the eastern shore.
“Some of our guests are so entranced by the sound of the water that they sleep with the balcony doors open,” said Dottie Singer, owner of the Stockport Mill Inn. “For me, I can hear it fine with the doors closed.” That sound is a constant as millions of gallons of water flow over the dam each hour, water that has been harnessed for commercial purposes since the first mill was built on the site in 1841.
The present mill, the third, has operated continuously, first as a grist mill, then as a feed mill until 1999 before opening as a hotel in May 2000. When constructed in 1907 the multi-story mill’s wood and stone structure included a water powered generator that provided electricity for the mill and later the street lights of Stockport. The river’s water power has been harnessed again as the restored turbines produce electricity for the Inn.
The beautiful and massive structural elements of the former milling operation remain in the central core of the mill’s four-story wood beam structure. Most of the guest rooms were constructed along the outer walls with private balconies that provide guests with panoramic views of the river. Lock #6 across from the Inn is operational and during the summer, on weekends, recreational boats can lock up river to Zanesville (Lock #10) and downriver to Marietta on the Ohio River.
By automobile you can explore the lower Muskingum valley on quiet country roads that run along the river. Upriver in McConnelsville, the Twin City Opera House dominates the courthouse Square and has been restored to offer a venue for local musical and theatrical performances as well as first run movies in a 150-seat theater with historic character and great acoustics – also reported to be one of the most haunted structures in Ohio.
Traveling south you can visit Marietta to enjoy an Ohio River cruise on the “Valley Gem” (seasonal) a stern-wheel replica or visit the historic steam-powered towboat “W.P.Snyder” that is moored at the Ohio River Museum, an Ohio Historical Society gem. For local history Campus Martius is a revelation. Front Street in downtown Marietta is lined with galleries, shops, and unique local restaurants.
Stockport Mill Inn: 1995 Broadway Avenue, Stockport, OH 43787. The Inn suggests that you call for directions because website and in car navigational have mislead many guests.
INFORMATION: 740-559-2822. Website: www.stockportmill.com
No elevator. Handicap accessible 1st floor Room 101 has balcony and southern view of the river. A two night minimum & holiday rates may apply on major holidays. No Smoking.
Restaurant at the Mill – Hours: 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday; Noon – 4 p.m. Sunday Buffet. Guests enjoy a continental breakfast with a view, daily the Restaurant. The inn’s staff can direct you to nearby restaurants in Stockport, McConnellsville (10minutes away) and Athens or Marietta (about 40 minutes away) for meals when the restaurant is not open.
Twin City Opera House: Courthouse Square, McConnellsville, OH. For full listings and show times call 740-962-3030 or check the website: www.operahouseinc.com
Marietta/Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau: contact 800-288-2577 or visit www.mariettaohio.org