A gracious parlor overlooks Main Street. Well-tended antiques complement the ornate fireplace and a 12-foot ceiling is suspended over the polished oak floor. The atmosphere at L&N Bed and Breakfast recalls a time when life possessed a simpler charm. Tempted by the gentle rumble of a passing train, guests at the 100-year-old edifice may feel compelled to peek out the windows, hoping for a glimpse of times gone by.
The railroad played an influential role in the building's history. Built in 1895, the home was first occupied by the Giebels, a family of German Jewish immigrants. After L&N completed the current railroad bridge in 1932, a railroad employee lived in the home and operated a rooming house. In the 1940s, a teacher and her sister owned the home and rented rooms. And since the 1960s, it has accommodated gift shops, architects, insurance agents, photographers and renters.
Norris and Mary Elizabeth Priest owned the L&N building for about three years when they decided to establish a bed and breakfast. Their son Nibby, a member of the Henderson County Tourism Board, mentioned that the Welcome Center and Chamber of Commerce were receiving inquiries about B&Bs. The Priests and their family--which also includes son Neal, a contractor, have put a good deal of time and effort into transforming the former residence into a B&B. Renovation included painting, plastering, a new heating and cooling system, plumbing, wiring, and burglar, fire and smoke alarm systems. The Priests took an active role in much of the carpentry, cleaning, waxing, stripping, and refinishing.
Guests at the L&N will find spacious rooms comfortably furnished. The red brick, two-story Victorian stack house features a dozen rooms, an array of stained glass windows, decorative fireplaces and an intricately carved oak staircase. Careful consideration has been given to the furnishings which include family pieces, antiques and railroad-themed accents. The L&N door knobs are a remnant of the home's past. Comfortable, charming and conveniently located in the heart of downtown, the L&N is characteristic of the southern hospitality found in Henderson, Kentucky.