A Quaint B and B Nestled in Fortville with a History All Its Own
Did you know Fortville Indiana is home to a premier Indiana Bed and Breakfast? Most don't.
I had the pleasure of touring the Ivy House Bed and Breakfast this past weekend, and oh how I enjoyed each and every feature! I've driven by more times than I can count and admired its quiet charm and beautiful gardens. I actually use it as a landmark when telling relatives how to find our house, for we only live a few houses down the street. It's a gorgeous stately home from the street, and the interior is just as charming.
As I arrived for my tour and journeyed up the tailored front path, I noticed features I hadn't even seen from the street! An inviting front stoop with two built-in wood benches and an old fashioned glass mailbox. I was greeted by the friendly innkeepers, Jim and Linda Nolte, at the entry of the inn. As I stepped inside, I noticed there were many small touches throughout the front room that only added to the charm: a lovely old piano, an old bankers desk, old fashioned ladies hats hung on display and beautiful lace curtains billowing in the early fall breeze through the large old windows.
I have to say the front room instantly put me at ease. Sitting on the cozy leather couches and chatting with the innkeepers about the history of the inn was such a relaxing and enjoyable experience. I definitely see why they have so many repeat customers and are rated a top ten Bed and Breakfast in Indiana. There are personal touches throughout and the owners have thought of each and every detail to make your stay relaxing and enjoyable!
I loved all the original details throughout the home that have been restored and highlighted beautifully by the owners. The dining room is full of historic charm, and I adore the antique swinging butler door that goes from the dining room to the kitchen. Upstairs there are three themed guest rooms (English Ivy, Boston Ivy and Baltic Ivy), each with their own private bathroom. English Ivy was my favorite with its four poster bed and claw foot tub. In the upstairs hall there is even an array of books and movies for guests to choose from during their stay. I was so pleased to see Anne of Green Gables among the choices. I see a sisters getaway weekend in my future with a movie before bed and a cup of afternoon tea on the swing on the secluded side porch.
I think the details I found most fascinating during my visit centered around the history of the home, its owners and visitors over the years. The Nolte family purchased the home in 1980. They are the 5th occupants of the home. Long before the Noltes purchased the home, it was owned by the Ferrell family. J.E. Ferrell, who had the home originally built in 1921 (the builder, a man by the name of Harry Tuttle) and was a prominent doctor in the area. The Nolte family even has an old glass door that was part of the doctor's practice long ago. It states walk-ins are welcome. Oh how doctor's offices have changed over the years!
Another interesting tidbit - grandsons of both Ferrell and Tuttle still live in Fortville today!
It is rumored that this Fortville Bed and Breakfast once housed a prohibition-era gambling operation and was often visited by legendary gangster Al Capone and his associates! According to local stories, black limousines were regular visitors in the home’s driveway. Moreover, a few years back Jim Nolte uncovered all sorts of gambling paraphernalia in both the attic and basement, and some punch card-type gambling games hidden in the insulation behind some walls. Due to the inn's exciting past, it was featured on an episode of HGTV's If Walls Could Talk!
I asked the Noltes if running a B and B was tiring. Both chimed in, "No not at all! We love what we do. It's our passion." The Noltes have been innkeepers since 2001. After sending their youngest off to college and experiencing a 25th wedding anniversary east coast B and B tour of their own, they knew they just had to open their own inn. They knew it would be perfect, for they had the perfect house in the perfect location. Slightly outside of the hustle and bustle of Indianapolis, but 15 minutes within attractions in every direction. Oh how right they were and the trip advisor reviews confirm it. Visitors travel from as far as Germany to stay at the Ivy House.
For more pictures of this lovely Indiana Bed and Breakfast visit their Facebook page.