Written by Lia Hobel
The historic white building stands at 8393 West Main Street in Marshall. For locals, the property has been known simply by this address — until now. Opened in late October, The Rosemary, a boutique lodging and event center, is breathing new life into those lovely old bones.
“Our building has lived many lives prior to our ownership,” says Leah Washer, The Rosemary’s general manager. Washer and her husband Regan, and in-laws, Melissa and Mike Washer, purchased the property as a family endeavor. They own a farm together as well, also named The Rosemary. “The reason [for] the name Rosemary for the farm and the building is because the matriarch of the Washer family, from Louisville, Kentucky, was Mike’s grandmother, Rosemary Ennis Washer. The green clover in both logos is [because] she was very proud of her Irish heritage,” Leah Washer explains.
Although the Washers don’t know all the history behind 8393 West Main, they know the lovely building has an important place in Marshall. “The structure at 8393 West Main dates to the original stone storehouse built circa 1800 and has ebbed and flowed between residential and commercial uses during its long history [including] the addition of a two-story log structure used as the counting room for cattle drives,” Leah Washer shares. Over the years, the property also served as a doctor’s office, flower shop, school, and book shop (which helped Bunny Mellon stock her impressive garden library at Oak Hill, the owners have been told), as well as a private residence.
The Washers purchased the home from a local interior designer, Daniel Moore, in August 2022. Moore had transformed the three offices the building housed into three Airbnb rooms in 2019. “He designed every aspect of the rooms and did an amazing job,” Leah Washer says. When the family got word that it was coming on the market, Melissa Washer, Leah’s mother-in-law, went to see it first. “It has a wonderful peaceful vibe when you’re in that building, and I like that it was historical but yet it’s been redone nicely,” Melissa Washer shares.
Having the property already restored and beautifully decorated made it an easy transition. In August, Leah left a job in HR to devote her time entirely to The Rosemary. “Since then, it has been a total whirlwind in the best way,” she shares. “The family aspect is very important to us, and we maintain the building all on our own, everything from cleaning the rooms, laundry, lawn care, and general maintenance.”
The Rosemary is a unique addition to Marshall. “There are little to no Airbnbs, no hotels, and no event venues aside from the Ruritan Club,” Leah Washer explains. Inside The Rosemary, the three luxury king rooms are referred to as “The Rooms Up There.” Each one radiates its own character with carefully selected furnishings and similar color schemes to promote cohesiveness. The names of the individual rooms, The Clover, The Julep, and The Derby, are all references to the Kentucky matriarch. The rooms are designed for relaxation with televisions intentionally left out. Guests are welcome to visit the Common Room for reading, games, or to sip wine (a complimentary wine bottle comes with every stay). Morning coffee is also provided in these rooms, as well as locally sourced snacks.
The Drawing Room is the event space at the Rosemary. It can accommodate 75 guests making it the perfect intimate setting for baby showers, weddings and receptions. The family has been busy meeting with local event planners, caterers, and florists.“Our ultimate goal with The Rosemary is to expand into the wedding and events world. With such a beautiful space we want everyone to see it,” Leah Washer notes.
When the space is not in use for an event, The Rosemary hosts yoga classes. Melissa is a yoga instructor and has hired three additional instructors to teach classes on different days. There’s also a Tai chi class. Melissa says the family has enjoyed making the Drawing Room a place for everyone in the community to use. They have even hosted sip and paint events.
The Green House is part of the Drawing Room’s event space but deserves a standalone mention. With trailing green vines adorning the adjacent wall, it offers a garden party aesthetic for any occasion. Guests who rent The Rosemary accommodations for a two-night stay have an option to add the Green Room for an additional fee to host a private dinner party or other small event.
With its many uses, The Rosemary is certainly a welcome addition to the rural community of Marshall and will undoubtedly become a popular stop or stay in town. ML
The Rosemary is located at 8393 West Main Street, Marshall, Virginia. For more information visit: Theroomsupthere.com.