The Owners, 2004 - 2017
The former owners of the Cornerstone Inn, Tom and Judy (Osborn) Gross maintained a piece of local history on the square in Washington, Illinois. The two were avid followers of Washington history, so their role as owners of a 19th-century inn is a natural fit. The natives of this charming Central Illinois town spent time living in other locales, but were happy to have replanted roots in their hometown.
It was their interest in Washington history, in fact, that led to the purchase and restoration of the Denhart Building, as well as two neighboring buildings and their historic home. The high- risk obstetrician and former teacher are proud of their part in restoring the beautiful structure in this storied part of town. Countless hours of research and hard work also culminated in the inn’s main corner building earning a spot on the National Register of Historic Places due to its banking history and Italianate architecture.
Their large network of children, grandchildren and friends are all part of the Grosses’ story together. The Cornerstone Inn, Denhart Baking Company and Restaurant, and C-Note Pub (now The Blacksmiths) became fixtures on the square, replacing a succession of businesses dating back to the mid-1870s.