Visit Lancaster's Historic Kilburnie

By:Ernie Wiggins

Date:11/11/2011

exterior of the Kilburnie home
The original Kilburnie home was rescued from dilapidation and decay in 1999.

Kilburnie, the Inn a​t Craig Farm is a study in control and balance. The historic Lancas​ter home, built in 1828, is now a bed and breakfast after being meticulously restored to its original beauty.

“Kilburnie is very Palladian, very Robert Mills,” said Johannes Tromp, co-owner and proprietor, referring to famous South Carolina architect. “Though we cannot say he designed this house, we would be surprised if he was not involved. Robert Mills was the architect for the courthouse in Lancaster. Kilburnie was being built the same year (1828). We have a really perfect Federal-style home in Lancaster the same year the Courthouse was being built.”

Tromp owns Kilburnie with John Craig Jr. and they decided to move the house from its original location on North White Street in Lancaster to the Craig Family farm outside of town. To move Kilburnie, which was added to the National Register of Historical Places in 1979, Tromp had to take the two-story house down to one story.

“We took the porches off, board-by-board,” he said. “The interior was heavily damaged and the ceiling had collapsed. Much work was needed.”

Tromp worked directly with the contractors to ensure that the restoration was “totally honest to the home, historically accurate though we made a few adaptations to make it livable.”

Local artist Jim Shore was contracted to craft the ornate ceiling molding that was distinctive to homes of that period.

“He recreated the ceiling molding with pecan shells and resin,” Tromp said. Shore made hundreds of individual pieces of ceiling molding and assembled them into a decorative strip.

It took Tromp and his cohorts about 14 months to clean out, disassemble, move, reassemble, restore and decorate the house. The house’s five guest rooms -- four on the second floor and an attic suite -- are furnished and decorated with pieces either from or indicative of the Federal-style period. There is an exception, however -- the enormous bathrooms in the house, which originally had no indoor plumbing. Each bathroom has a fireplace and hydrotherapy tub. The house also is equipped with wireless Internet access that covers much of the wooded areas of the property as well.

Kilburnie sits on about 400 acres of farmland that has been in the Craig family since the 1700s. Tromp says the inn, which has been open for 11½ years, averages about 60 percent occupancy throughout the year. He charges $150 for rooms during the week and $175 on the weekend. The large attic room goes for an additional $25.

If You’re Going:

Kilburnie is located at 1824 Craig Farm Road, just outside Lancaster off U.S. 521. Contact Tromp at (803) 416-8420 or jtromp@comporium.net.

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