The Family History
The Hopkins House B&B was originally built in the 1870's by Asa and Nettie Hopkins. Asa fought for the Union in the Civil War and is believed to be a descendant of the early English settlers that arrived on the Mayflower. Nettie was a self-taught watercolorist focusing on flowers and landscapes. Asa and Nettie had two boys: James "Roy" and Harold. The children attended a one room brick school house which is still standing just down the road from the Hopkins House.
The Hopkins brothers were men of many talents. Harold was a milk and coal entrepreneur in Cleveland and ran a creamery in Mechanicsburg - skills that no doubt were derived from his youth by helping his father with their dairy cattle herd.
James Roy Hopkins, a world traveled painter, spent many years studying and teaching art. He entered the Art Institute of Cincinnati and studies under the renowned Frank Duveneck. Upon completion of this schooling he worked as a medical illustrator in New York and married Edna Boies, a fellow artist whom he met at the Art Institute.
The newlywed couple took an around the world honeymoon and then moved to Paris where "Roy" enrolled in the Academy Colarossi. They traveled and studied art in Japan, China, Ceylon, Egypt and Italy before returning to Paris for a ten year stay. James Roy developed friendships with well known artists' Renoir, Degas and Monet.
Upon return to the United States "Roy" was appointed chairman of the Department of Fine Arts at The Ohio State University. Today, Hopkins Hall at OSU is still aptly named.
Edna Boies Hopkins, originally from Ann Arbor Michigan, shared her husband's love for art. She created many remarkable color woodblock prints and taught classes to inspire others of this growing form of art.
Edna and James Roy's works of art can be viewed locally at the Springfield Museum of Art and the Columbus Museum of Art as well as the Chicago Art Institute and various museums in Paris, France.
History of the Hopkins House B&B
The Hopkins House Bed and Breakfast graces the front of the 200 acre Darbyland Farms. The original 1870's home burned to the ground in 1902. Harold Hopkins, then a mere ten years old, designed the existing home which was rebuilt onto the existing foundation. As you would imagine from a ten year old, the home lacks uniformity and boasts ingenuity.
The farm, origianlly worked by the Hopkins Family was sold to Charlie Cooper in 1969 by Harold Hopkins. The home was more recently acquired by the Cooper Family in 2006.
The spacious three story, 16 room home has a wide veranda with columns in the front and a drive through portico on the side. The porte-cochere was recently widened to fit today's larger vehicles. A horse and carriage in the past could easily unload its passengers here then use the horse hitching post (now found by the garage) to tie up for the night.
Many of the flowers found in both James Roy and Edna's paintings are still presend around the yard. The Hopkins family
were astounding gardeners and the back yard was historically bright in bloom. Trumpet vines by the porte-cochere and peonies in the rear yard were both
popular models in their art works. Cisterns, springs and watercress beds
are found in the east yard and were
utilized in the food production for the family. Adjacent to the house still
stands the 1918 dairy operation and
the original farmstead.
Touring inside the home, from the basement to the attic, one can relive the past. In the dark recesses of the basement remnants of a coal bin are still prevalent. Sounds of flowing water may be heard as the house was built on top of a spring. Life was more difficult back then, but having fresh spring water inside the house was a luxury. Another corner of the basement used to be portioned off as a dark room. The Hopkins brothers enjoyed photography in their latter years and mastered the technique of developing their own prints.
At the top of the basement stairs lies the old wook working shop. James Roy enjoyed making his own frames as well as other pieces throughout the home. The drawers and shelves throughout the shop were filled with tools and devices that would make any craftsman jealous. The brothers were members of the Zanesfield Fishing Club and enjoyed tying their own lures. Exotic birds were raised for their feathers (used as lures) in a chicken coop off of the house.
Just off of the shop sits the kitchen and office. This area has been updated with modern appliances and fixtures. To the left, was the old butler's pantry (now the kitchen) and straight ahead was the small kitchen (now the office). A "Mr. Ed" door made serving drinks to the outside farm hands an easy and refreshing experience.
The hardwood floors, built in cabinets, (most) trim and stairs are all original woodwork. Most of the wood was cut down on the Hopkins farm and assembled by a team of local craftsmen. The tiger oak mantel and pillars in the front room are now increasingly hard to come by. The antique doors and windows are intricately detailed and are rarely standard in size. The doors have skeleton keys and many are heavy pocket style doors that slide into the walls.
A built in desk in the entry hall was used to pay bills and several built in window seats add to the uniqueness of the home. Quarter cut oak timbers, which enhances the wood grain quality, were used on the main staircase. At the turn of the stairs in a stained glass three panel window which represents spring, summer and fall. It was crafted locally by artist Marilyn Foulk.
On the second floor are five bedrooms, baths and a large study with a 20 foot cathedral ceiling. An enormous fireplace is the focal point, with two symmetrical north facing windows on either side.
Above the wrap around porch on the second floor, smaller summer bedrooms accompany the larger main bedrooms. This enabled the family to enjoy the summer breeze by opening the windows that line one complete side of each room. The summer room adjacent to the study has a miniature door leading to an outside exit. French doors and simple white curtains make these rooms a treat on any day.
A staircase to the third floor attic can be found off of the study. The three room attic is used for storage and has never been finished. At one time it was filled with James Roy's paintings - now worth millions of dollars.
Current Amenities &
The rich history and charm of the Hopkins House B&B has inspired the Cooper Family to keep busy in their restoration efforts. When purchased
in 2006 from Nancy & Dave
Bullard, the Coopers' expressed their deep interest in evolving it into a Bed
& Breakfast for others to enjoy.
After a four year restoration, the Hopkins House B&B is proudly open for business. The bedrooms can be rented individually or all rooms can be reserved for larger parties. The grounds & guest house make for an excellent setting for a wedding, reunion, graduation party or meeting.
Business amenities such as free wireless internet access, cable TV and laundry facilities are available at the Hopkins House B&B. Family oriented activities on the farm make the children's fantasy a reality. A fun and educational hay ride to pet the cows will be an enjoyable expereince for both the kids and the kids at heart.
Long term plans bring the farm into the family business and include agritourism favorites such as pumpkin patches, a petting zoo and horseback riding.
A quite stroll along Little Darby Creek (a National Scenic Waterway), a walk in the woods looking for arrowheads or a simple backyard bonfire makes the Hopkins House B&B a one of a kind experience.