The Golden Lamb, Ohio’s oldest hotel is like a history book you can sleep in. It has been a famous person stopover, and, as the stories go, it might be haunted. Ever since it first opened in 1803, and rebuilt to its current structure in 1815, The Golden Lamb located in Lebanon between Cincinnati and Columbus, has been a famous person magnet.
Literary notables like Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe and Charles Dickens visited here. So have politicians and U.S. presidents. Twelve presidents have put the Golden Lamb on their itinerary. George W. Bush was the last one.
Each of the inn’s rooms are decorated with antique furniture and are named after a famous person in Ohio or U.S. history.
As for the ghosts, rumor has it the ghost of a girl named Sarah makes her appearance in the room named after her. Located on the 4th floor, Sarah’s Room is named after Sarah Stubbs who lived at the Golden Lamb as a child in the late 1880s when her uncle was the manager. Sarah actually lived to be an old woman, so perhaps this isn’t her ghost after all, but some other girl with issues. This article from the Cincinnati Enquirer does have an explanation of the age disparity between Sarah’s ghost and the real Sarah.
Another supposed ghost at the inn, this one an old man, is said to be that of Charles R. Sherman. He was an Ohio Supreme Court Justice and dad of William Tecumseh Sherman (as in the Civil War general who helped lead the Union soldiers on their march through the south). Charles Sherman, a cigar smoker, died from an illness while staying at the Golden Lamb in 1829. One way to know he’s around is if you smell cigar smoke. There’s no smoking at the inn, so if you smell smoke, wonder about it.
A continental breakfast is included with the rooms during the week. Currently, most of the rooms, each of them unique from each other and appointed with antique furniture, are $107 for a double. The Ulyssess S. Grant room is $100 and the Charles Dickens room runs $130.
Although, I’ve never stayed at the Golden Lamb, I’ve been there for dinner. The main building has a restaurant with several dining room areas that offer a with a menu worth driving for. Back when I was the editor of the restaurant guide at Ohio Magazine, The Golden Lamb dining room was voted as a top destination restaurant for a reason. The food and ambiance are splendid.
If you want to avoid the sticker price of the main dining room, eat at the connected Blackhorse Tavern. Originally, a tavern that operated out of a log cabin back in 1798, the building has been incorporated into the Golden Lamb. The dining room here is gleaming wood and elegant casual. You’ll have access to the main menu, as well as, Blackhorse Tavern fare.
Do what I did, eat at the tavern, and while you’re waiting for your food to arrive, or after dinner, tour the hotel. It’s quite lovely and a wonderful way to learn a bit about U.S. history. Lebanon is also a charming, historic Ohio town known for its antique stores.
27 S. Broadway
Lebanon, OH 45036