Mayor Lord’s Bed and Breakfast adds additional rooms


Outside the newly expanded Mayor Lord’s Bed and Breakfast

Mayor Lord’s House Bed and Breakfast located in downtown Meadville offers “distinctive accommodations, with comfort, relaxation and rich history,” according to its website. This local bed and breakfast is expanding into a neighboring carriage house to allow more guests to stay at the property.

The bed and breakfast located on Park Ave., just blocks away from the campus is a popular destination for visitors to Allegheny College and the Meadville area, and its expansion into an additional property provides four additional guest rooms.

Allegheny’s Art Department Coordinator Sherry Vardaro owns and operates the property.

Mayor Lord’s was built in 1920 by Lewis L. Lord who was the mayor of Meadville from 1901 to 1904. Lord was also the grandson of Samuel Lord, who is known for donating land for the founding of Allegheny.

Vardaro has owned the property of Mayor Lord’s since 1992. However, it was not until 2004 that she turned it into an operating bed and breakfast. Now, Vardaro has expanded Mayor Lord’s into the carriage house located behind the property.

“I’ve lived in that house for 27 years and operated it as a bed and breakfast for 15 years now,” Vardaro said. “I recently had the opportunity to expand into (the carriage house) because the properties are adjacent.”

While Vardaro has expanded Mayor Lord’s into the adjacent carriage house, it is Michael Dent who is responsible for the renovations and upgrades to the property.

Dent is no stranger when it comes to helping preserve the history of Crawford County. Dent and his late wife helped the Baldwin-Reynolds House Museum purchase a historic furniture collection that belonged to Austa Densmore Sturdevant.

Densmore was born in Crawford County in the 1850s and was one of the first women to graduate from Allegheny College. Desmore later married Sturdevant, who was the superintendent for Crawford County schools.

“We were pleased to help,” Dent said in an interview with the Meadville Tribune. “Baldwin-Reynolds House is a great example of what can be done by caring for a historical building.”

Vardaro leases the carriage house from Dent, who is still the owner of the property. There is a convenient guest and innkeeper pathway that connects the two properties.

The carriage house adds an additional four bedrooms, each with their own private bathrooms, to the existing six bedrooms in Mayor Lord’s.

“For me, (expanding into the carriage house) has been relatively easy because I have a lot of experience and knowledge (about operating a bed and breakfast),” Vardaro said. “The property was, in essence, waiting to be seen and be used.”

Vardaro is looking forward to sharing the property with others — she said few people are aware of the house’s existence, which resides in the middle of Crawford County.

Through her ownership of Mayor Lord’s over the years, Vardaro has been given the opportunity to meet hundreds of people, some associated with Allegheny and others not.

“Being a business owner and having a bed and breakfast has allowed me to meet people from all over the world,” Vardaro said. “Living in a small community is a gift. I have met incredibly talented and interesting people over the years.”

Many visitors of Allegheny, such as prospective students, parents, speakers and applicants choose to stay at Mayor Lord’s  — yet it is a popular destination for all who visit Meadville.

“One of the things that has surprised me is the number of people coming in to do genealogical research,” Vardaro said. “A lot of people come in specifically because they want to rediscover family roots, and those roots are in Crawford County for a large number of people who come to this area.”

The additional four rooms will allow Vardaro to accommodate more guests. According to Vardaro, parents ask about booking rooms for graduation while their children are in their first year.

“In the future, I hope to do more in what I am able to offer my guest,” Vardaro said.