Hittin’ the Town: In grand style at The Grand Kerr House

The Grand Kerr House is a bed and breakfast in Grand Rapids.
Published: Jun. 24, 2022 at 9:02 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - It’s a magnificent home on a hill that’s been part of the Wood County landscape for more than a century.

And you can spend the night there. The Grand Kerr House is a bed and breakfast.

The property has been part of Grand Rapids for more than a century, with construction dating back to 1880. The Home was completed three years later.

The property has served a variety of purposes as it was a health resort and spa for decades and it’s been a bed and breakfast since 2017.

The home has truly been a labor of love for Bob Trame and his wife Cathy.

“One of the reasons we bought it is that we wanted to make sure it didn’t fall into the hands of someone who would not honor, respect, and appreciate it,” Bob said.

The couple bought the home at auction in 2016.

“We bought it late in life thinking we were ready to move into a single-story retirement home with no stairs and here we are in this massive mansion. It keeps me young,” Bob said.

A lot of work has gone into restoring the massive house to its former glory.

“There’s been project after project. When we first bought it I knew it would take a ton of money, and it did. It feels as if the house chose us,” Bob said.

Even with all the projects, the house always had great bones. That’s because of the meticulous craftsmanship that went into building it.

“The bricks used to build the house were made out of clay excavated for the basement. There was a kiln right on sight and they made their own bricks. The exterior walls are four courses of brick thick. They are 16 inches thick,” Bob said.

The Grand Kerr House is on the National Register of Historic Places.

It was an early project of E.O. Fallis, a man who made quite a name for himself around the region.

“The architect who designed this house went on to become one of the most famous, most prolific, and in demand architects in northwest Ohio. This is the house that launched his career,” Bob said.

Bob said several generations of the Kerr family lived in the home before it was sold in the 1970s.

“The Grand Kerr House is a Queen Anne Victorian which differs from a Victorian in a number of key aspects. There is ornate trim, stained glass windows, and fireplaces. They are intentionally out of symmetry. Things like fireplaces, staircases, and windows don’t line up. There’s unique ornamental trim outside like gingerbread and tiles along the roof line.”

The Trames love sharing their treasure with others.

“This is too good to keep to ourselves,” Bob said.

Guests at the B and B are treated to a fantastic breakfast, and a history lesson if they’d like. Bob said he’s given tours ranging from a few minutes to two hours.

After exploring the house, guests can also explore the streets of Grand Rapids.

“What’s great is that we have a wonderful Victoria downtown it’s two blocks long. There are beautifully preserved, still in use eclectic shops and restaurants. There is so much to choose from right along the river,” Bob said.

Thanks to Bob and Cathy’s love of this home, it will certainly stand the test of time for generations to come.

“When you live in a house like this, the experience changes you,” Bob said.

People from all over the country have visited the grand Kerr house through the years.

It’s open year-round Most guests stay a night or two, but Bob says you can stay as long as you’d like.

To learn more about the historic home visit the home’s website.

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