In the 34 years we’ve lived in Madison, Indiana, I never thought I’d really see the day that the abandoned 1884 Eagle Cotton Mill would be completely renovated and open as a hotel. A beautiful hotel. But it was, and it did. July 30th the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott opened its doors and welcomed overnight guests to our community’s newest accommodation. Pride of place is happening on the riverfront in the east end of town!

On the hotel’s second day of operation, our daughter and family visiting from Seattle checked in for a few days, and Ken and I happily looked around the property as they got settled. Whoa. Unbelievable changes have taken place since we visited the work in progress last October – and we were impressed then with what we saw! The interior now bears little resemblance to the property we visited in July 2019 on Cornerstone Society‘s Trio Tour, “New Use for Old Buildings.”

The long-awaited transformation of the historic cotton mill is indeed a thing of beauty. Here are a few photo comparisons of the property over the last two years. The renovated property exterior is immaculate. Window glass is all in place, and bricks are beautifully tuck pointed. Grand entry doors have been recreated. Weeds and climbing poison ivy have been replaced by sod, shrubs, flowers and trees.

And the inside is also immaculate. The bats and roosting birds are long gone. Dust and cobwebs have given way to fresh paint. Enlarged vintage photos abound. Everything is so CLEAN and inviting.

Ohio River View from Check-in Area

And here’s a look in the bedroom portion of a Queen-Queen Suite – tested and approved!

Interesting areas to the rear of the hotel are the Mechanical Room, future Beer Garden, and a stand-alone building with a TBD purpose.

Whether business or pleasure brings you to Madison, Indiana – “prettiest town in the Midwest” – consider staying the night. There are many lovely accommodations to choose from, now including the Fairfield Inn & Suites along the Ohio River Scenic Byway in Southern Indiana.

Fairfiled by Marriott at Dusk, August 4, 2021

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One thing that makes my journey unique is that all of my interests are driven by a joyful and genuine curiosity. I delight in finding less expensive ways to make something or creative ways to enjoy something longer. Finding and creating joy - and sharing it - is core to who I am.