Tag Archives: Country Guest House

Visit Mount Carroll Illinois!

During your stay at Roberts’ Roost Country Guest House, I hope you will have a chance to visit historic Mount Carroll, Illinois. Located about six miles from Roberts’ Roost, Mount Carroll is a glimpse into the past with its beautiful courtyard and historic houses. Antique shopping and fine dining awaits you in Mount Carroll. For a preview of this beautiful town check out this video created by Chad Winterland.

The Story Behind These Heirloom Tiger Lilies!

Roberts' Roost Country Guest House

Grandpa’s Tiger Lilies

Welcome to Roberts’ Roost Country Guest House on this beautiful July day!  I would like to share with you the story of these heirloom “Tiger Lilies” that are currently in bloom at Roberts’ Roost Country Guest House. When I was a child, (many, many) years ago, I always loved these special flowers. I was fascinated with the little black seeds that grew up and down the sturdy stocks, and the shape of these wonderful blooms with all of their intricate parts.

I saw them many times during their blooming season. The large patch that grew at my Grandpa’s house, was right beside the outhouse, a very popular destination. We were a little behind the times at Grandpa’s and didn’t get an inside bathroom, until the mid 1960’s. This swathe of Tiger Lilies always had a lot of traffic past them especially on Sundays during the summer, when as many as 20 to 30 family members would gather for  dinner and an afternoon of conversation while us kids played around the farm.

The Tiger Lilies pictured here that bloom at Roberts’ Roost Country Guest House actually came from the little patch that was next to that often used outhouse. In June of 2004, on the day of my father’s funeral, I visited the site where my grandpa’s house had stood for so many years and had housed so many of my family members. ( My dad was one of sixteen children). The house had deteriorated to a pile of rubble, most of the barns and outbuildings, long gone along with that well used little outhouse. However on that day in June 2004, one solitary Tiger Lily still bloomed among all the weeds. My husband and I dug it up and moved it down the lane to what is now known as Roberts’ Roost Country Guest House. As I  planted it in one of my flower beds I prayed this poor lonesome flower would make it through the transplant in the middle of the summer heat. (Little did I know about the endurance of these beauties. Now, twelve years later that Tiger Lily still flourishes and has multiplied many times over, reseeding into two other gardens in the yard as well.

I only need a glimpse of these tall lilies to bring all of the wonderful memories of my childhood and grandpa’s farm flooding back. These flowers have stood the test of time, definitely no coddling to keep these flowers alive. I have no idea when they were planted or by whom, but my ancestors dwelt on that land as far back as 1860. I like to envision the grandmother I never knew, (she died about eight years before I was born), planting those flowers and enjoying the beauty of them year after year. The amazing thing is that even after I dug up the last remaining Tiger Lily that day back in 2004, they still thrive. I was by there a few days ago and where the old outhouse stood another new group is blooming. I guess they will last forever just like my precious memories.

Here are a few interesting facts about the Tiger Lily:

The Tiger Lily, bears large, fiery orange flowers covered by spots. The name tiger probably refers to the spots on the petals. 

The Tiger Lily has significant medicinal use. A tincture is made from the fresh plant and has proved of great value in uterine-neuralgia, congestion and irritation, also in the nausea and vomiting of pregnancy. (Interesting fact considering my grandmother was pregnant at least sixteen times that I know of.) 

There is an old legend from Asia about the Tiger Lily. A Korean hermit helped a wounded tiger by removing an arrow from its body. The tiger asked the hermit to use his powers to perpetuate their friendship after his death. The hermit agreed and when the tiger died, his body became a tiger lily. Eventually the hermit drowned and his body was washed away. The Tiger Lily spread everywhere searching for its friend. 

The Tiger Lily stands for wealth and prosperity. 

There is a superstition that smelling a Tiger Lily will give you freckles.

I hope you have enjoyed learning about the Tiger Lilies that bloom at Roberts’ Roost Country Guest House. If you happen to stay during the month of July, please stop and take a moment to smell these beautiful flowers that originated here so long ago.

I thought I would also share with you this old winter 1965 black and white photo taken of my grandpa’s garden, the outhouse and windmill. The Tiger Lilies stood right next to the outhouse.

Roberts' Roost Country Guest House

Winter 1965 Gus Roberts Farm


Connie Zink






It’s Spring! The Eastern Bluebirds Have Returned!

Mr. Bluebird Arrives March 12th 2016

Mr. Bluebird Arrives March 12th 2016

Guess who’s back???? Last year was our first successful Eastern Bluebird nesting season here at Roberts’ Roost Country Guest House. Over the summer we had three successful nestings from our resident pair of Eastern Bluebirds, Mr. and Mrs. Bluebird. They raised three babies from the first nest, five from the second, and two from the third right here in our own back yard. Guests had an opportunity to view these beautiful birds as they raised their families right out our kitchen window. Their really is a reason for the saying the “Bluebird of Happiness”. I cannot tell you how much joy this pair of birds and their offspring brought to not only us but our guests as well.   This pair cost me a small fortune, as I made several trips a week to pick up wax worms for them to help feed their babies. They had their own plate on a stump in the corner of the yard and they visited it daily. We have not been able to identify Mrs. Bluebird yet this year but two bluebirds were seen together a short distance from the nest box on Saturday. We have been able to get several photos now of Mr. Bluebird.

Mr. Bluebird Arrives March 12th, 2016

Mr. Bluebird Arrives March 12th, 2016

Mr. Bluebird Waiting For His Waxworms

Mr. Bluebird Waiting For His Waxworms

Here is a photo of Mr. Bluebird taken yesterday March 13th. He had just been visiting the nest box and stopped for a few bites of suet at the feeder. I had picked up a small container of wax worms upon their return on Saturday and he also stopped for a few bites there also.

Mr. Bluebird Waiting For His Waxworms

Mr. Bluebird Waiting For His Waxworms

Here is Mr. Bluebird letting us know the wax worms are  gone.  Stay tuned for further updates on our resident pair Eastern Bluebirds. I am hoping for another successful nesting season again this year! Have a great day!

Connie Zink

Roberts’ Roost Country Guest House “Ribbon Cutting” and Upcoming Events

"Ribbon Cutting" with Savanna Chamber of Commerce

“Ribbon Cutting” with Savanna Chamber of Commerce

Thursday morning, March 26th, 2015 marked the official opening of Roberts’ Roost Country Guest House. Even though Roberts’ Roost had opened in the fall of 2014, today was the official “Ribbon Cutting” Ceremony with the Savanna Chamber of Commerce. Many thanks to the Savanna Chamber Executive Director, Pam Brown for organizing the event. Thank you to those that attended: (left to right) Mary Stebbins, Chris Lain, Nancy Lawfer, Curtis Hunsaker, (Dennis and myself) Jon Darrow, Lynn Collins, Linda Grissinger, Pam Brown, Lori Ferris, and Mayor Tony McCombie. Also in attendance (but not in photo) was Tom Kocal from The Prairie Advocate, and Pam Villalobos from the Savanna Times Journal and Pam Darrow.

Mt. Carroll “Chamber After Hours” Thursday Evening, April 2nd 5:00-7:00

Roberts’ Roost Country Guest House will also be hosting the Mt. Carroll Chamber of Commerce “Chamber After Hours” on Thursday April 2nd from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Please stop by to visit if you are in the area. Refreshments will be served and tours of Roberts’ Roost will be given.

Roberts’ Roost Country Guest House “Open House” Saturday, April 4th 10:00-6:00

Be sure to join us for our “Open House” on Saturday April 4th.  Tours and refreshments begin at 10:00 am. Enjoy hors d’oeuvres, fruit, cheese, dessert, coffee, and ice tea. Savor Silver Moon wine tastings from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Our Guest House will be decorated for “Spring”  courtesy of Picket Fence and we will showcase Prairie Path Sampler handcrafted bird houses and other  treasures. Don’t miss the open houses of “Picket Fence” in Lanark and “Prairie Path Sampler” in Mt. Carroll, starting  on Friday, April 10th and continuing Friday’s and Saturday’s in April.

All River Road Talent “ARRT” Art Drive Saturday April 4th 10:00-6:00

In addition to our open house, we are simultaneously a part of the “ARRT” All River Road Talent Art Drive. Connie Zink (owner of Roberts’ Roost” will be “Celebrating our Rural Heritage” with her images of “Old Barns”, along with many of her nature photos. Please stop by for refreshments and a presentation of her artworks.

Hope to see many of you soon!

Connie Zink


Winner Of The Free Two Night Stay in 2015!!!!!

Roberts' Roost Country Guest House

Roberts’ Roost Country Guest House

And The Winner Is………… Vickie Zinanni!!!!!  Vickie, you have won the free two night stay at Roberts’ Roost Country Guest House for 2015. Your stay is good for two consecutive nights, anytime during the calendar year 2015. (Dates are subject to availability so please book your stay early). You must use your free stay in 2015, the offer expires December 31st, 2015 Happy New Year!!!! Vickie, we are looking forward to meeting you in 2015.

Connie and Dennis Zink

Taking The Road Less Traveled!

Stone Arch Bridge Stone Bridge Road Lanark Illinois

Stone Arch Bridge Stone Bridge Road Lanark Illinois

Awhile back, I saw a photo on Facebook of this Stone Arch Bridge just outside of Lanark, Illinois. The photo had been posted by Sherry Vidinich of “Hickory Hideaway Cabins” I must say I have lived in Carroll County for all 61 years of my life and never knew this beautiful old Stone Bridge existed. I had never driven on Stone Bridge Road, just on the west edge of Lanark, even though I have drove by it hundreds of times in my lifetime. When I set out to find this bridge, after the photo I had seen intrigued me so much, I actually ended up discovering a second bridge I had never known about.

When you say Stone Arch Bridge in Carroll County, what comes to people’s minds is a more historic one that reportedly Abraham Lincoln camped by in 1832. The history is rich for this Stone Arch Bridge. As far as I can tell, this one is no longer visible from the highway, but there is a historical marker for it along Highway 52 and 64 close to the Carroll County / Ogle County line. Here is a photo of that marker.

Stone Bridge Historical Marker

Stone Bridge Historical Marker

Here is a link to a complete article on our “Carroll County Tourism” website about this historic old stone bridge. http://visitcarrollcountyil.com/stone-arch-bridge/

After discovering the historic bridge marker yesterday, we went on to find the beautiful old bridge I took the photo of above. The “Bridge That Goes To Nowhere”, how I would love to know the history of this remarkable landmark that has stood the test of time.

Yesterday, I took “the road less traveled because it was the right road at the time” for me. Seeking peace and solitude, and a beautiful sunset, I found it on a little known back road in Carroll County, Illinois.

There are many more back roads to discover in scenic Northwest, Illinois, please stay with us at Roberts’ Roost Country Guest House. Tranquil days, peaceful nights, and nature’s serenity awaits you. Book your reservation and “Explore Carroll County” today!

Connie Zink



“Calling Owls” at Roberts’ Roost

On Sunday, September 7th, Roberts’ Roost Country Guest House held its first “Owl Call”. Friends of ours, Bob and Sandy Walton conduct the “Owl Prowls” that take place twice a year for the Stewards of the Upper Mississippi River Refuge. After seeing both Great Horned Owls and Barred Owls and hearing Eastern Screech Owls at Roberts’ Roost we decided to give “Owl Calling” a shot, on an evening close to full moon. The weather was beautiful, the marshmallows, graham crackers and candy bars tasty, and the owls were cooperative. It took about 15 minutes of Bob calling Barred Owl calls for them to answer. We had a pair of adults, with what sounded like a juvenile, that flew into the edge of the woods across the field from where we were sitting. They carried on quite the conversation with Bob, back and forth along with a lot of what are called the “Monkey” calls. There were also two more Barred Owls quite a distance away, calling from the surrounding woods. Thanks to Bob and Sandy Walton, our neighbors, John, Sarah, Trap, and Eva, and our kids, Stacie, Kenny, and Alyssa for a memorable evening at Roberts’ Roost Country Guest House!


Do You Know Where Your Eggs Come From???

Do you know where your eggs come from? Roberts’ Roost Country Guest House features only farm fresh eggs raised by Hartman’s Hens, our next door neighbor. From the hens, across the field, to the fridge, you can’t get much fresher than that. All guests will receive a dozen eggs, awaiting their cooking pleasures. Let me introduce you to Hartman’s Hens!

Kitchen is Ready for Guests!!!

Here are photos of the kitchen at Roberts’ Roost Country Guest House! The kitchen comes complete with a full size stove, refrigerator/freezer, and microwave. It is completely furnished with dishes, silverware, glasses, pots and pans, toaster, coffee pot, tea pot, crock pot, and other kitchen utensils. Sorry there currently is not a dishwasher or ice cube maker, but ice cube trays and hand dish-washing detergent is supplied, along with paper towels, aluminum foil, and plastic wrap. There is also a new gas grill available for your outside cooking needs along with outside seating areas.

Kitchen at Roberts' Roost

Kitchen at Roberts’ Roost

Website Kitchen 2