Picture of the innkeepers

About Our Ohio Bed & Breakfast

Stay at One of the Most Romantic Places in Ohio’s Amish Country

One sunny fall day in 1985 we were both at work in our corporate jobs in Canada. We didn’t know it, but our lives were about to be shaken up. Leaving a client’s office, Ian was involved in a serious head-on car accident. As he healed from his injuries, we both realized how close we had come to losing one another forever and that we needed to make some lifestyle changes to spend more time together. And as so often happens, it was a chance stay in a bed and breakfast that gave us the kernel of the idea that we could become innkeepers. So it was, after several years of research and hunting for just the right property that we drove up to The White Oak Inn in Ohio. There it sat, windows sparkling and white paint gleaming in the September sun. It was love at first sight.

At 12.01 a.m. on August 1, 1992, we became the second innkeepers of The White Oak Inn, a bed & breakfast in Ohio. The next morning found us in the kitchen in the early morning hours, starting to make our first batch of muffins, the first of thousands to come, ready to come out of the oven just as the guests sit down to breakfast.

Through the years, we’ve changed many things about our Ohio bed & breakfast. All rooms have been upgraded and improved, including adding a two-person whirlpool tub to the ground-floor guest room. In 2002, we designed and built the two luxury log cabin cottages. A wedding gazebo was added to the garden in 2008, and the historic barn was rehabbed the same year. We have created many special programs at the inn, including murder mysteries, a Dickens Christmas Carol event, and Oakstock – a fun celebration of food and music. And we’ve been honored to be included in so many of our guests’ special celebrations as they get married, or celebrate the milestones in their lives.

Shortly after arriving at the inn, we were given a housewarming gift of a small black Labrador puppy. Rocky was to become the inn ambassador for 14 years and was a favorite of all our guests. He was only the first of many beloved pets to come, including Buster, an abandoned baby lamb who blossomed into a 350 lb. sheep due to all the gummy bear and cracker treats fed to him by guests. Dougal, another Black Labrador puppy came home from the dog shelter at Christmas in 2009, and was with us until 2023.

Fast forward to April 2024, when Bentley, another black lab mix, romped into our lives, enthusiastically stealing shoes and unguarded toilet rolls.

Ian’s former profession as a drummer has led to many convivial evenings spent with guests talking about music and listening to favorite tunes.

Yvonne has always loved to cook and owning an inn has provided a wonderful outlet for her to demonstrate her talent and improve her skills. Ian had limited culinary experience at the time we bought the inn, but he has proved to be very talented and creative at baking cakes for our evening desserts.

In 2009, Yvonne joined with a group of seven close friends, innkeepers from all across the country, to form the Eight Broads in the Kitchen. Their three cookbooks allowed them to share their joy of food, cooking, and recipes with the world, and can be purchased at the inn.

As we approach our 32nd year as innkeepers, we can’t believe how quickly the time has passed. We’ve made many, many wonderful friends. We have a store of amazing memories and have had the great privilege to share in so many special moments in others’ lives. The building that holds our Ohio bed & breakfast itself had its 100th birthday in 2015. We hope it’s still welcoming guests to a peaceful and tranquil haven in the country for another century.

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Drive Times

  • Gambier, Ohio 15 minutes
  • Columbus, Ohio 1 hour
  • Akron/Canton, Ohio 1 1/2 hours
  • Cleveland 2 hours
  • Pittsburgh 3 hours
  • Cincinnati 3 hours
  • Dayton 2 1/4 hours
  • Toledo 2 1/2 hours