About the Innkeepers
Owned and operated since 1983 by Laurie and Michael Gibbs, the Inn has expanded from the original purchase of the Main House and nationally acclaimed restaurant to include a total of four buildings with award winning gardens.
Laurie and Michael, with great determination, a keen sense of history and limited budget literally rolled up their sleeves and went to work.
After six months of construction the tired but happy pair were able to open the Inn in July of 1983, with seven guest rooms and a restaurant open to the public.
The Winchester Inn received its moniker due to the "mystery" surrounding much of its structure. In the 1960's the owner noted the many doors walled over, stairs inside closets and windows boarded up. This reminded her of the famous "Winchester Mystery House" in San Jose, California. When the Gibbs began their ambitious project, among other curiosities they too uncovered 11 windows and 13 doors, but no skeletons! Since the house was locally well known as the "Winchester House" they agreed that indeed they would keep the Inn's name the same.
The summer of 1984 brought the first addition to the Gibbs family when son Drew was born. Three years later Cate, Drew's little sister joined the family. You may know their full names better, as we have named two rooms after them, the Andrew G. and the Catharine M. Many of you have watched them arrive and grow, and now help us with the Inn.
Along with the expanding family, the Inn grew. In 1994 the Larkspur Cottage was built in the gardens, housing the Inn's first suites. There was a bit of trouble with the state historic commission, because they thought the building design was "too authentic". The Gibbs thought that was the idea! The following year the old Enders House next door was purchased and completely renovated, just like the Main House.
The building was named " Heritage House" in honor of Laurie and Michael's families. Through the years both families had given so much encouragement, that it was decided to name the rooms after members of the family: parents, grandparents, children and nephews. Sorry siblings, we ran out of rooms.
An additional challenge for Laurie (an avid gardener), was the barren, hilly lot surrounding the Inn. Armed with a pick-ax, she began the process which a bulldozer finished and established the flowing lines and the foundations for the tiered gardens. The original chimneys in the house supplied the bricks which hold the tiers in place. The basics of the beautiful, mature gardens you see today, rapidly began taking shape.
Years have passed since those first perennials were set in the ground. We are proud of the gardens and the awards they have claimed.
We hope that you will take time to wander the Inn, stay, and smell the roses.