The Inn

The gathering room with red plush chairs and a fire in a fireplace.

Brightwood Inn at Matthiessen State Park in Oglesby, Illinois, is are dedicated to providing a unique lodging experience. Our premier Starved Rock Inn offers more than just a place to stay.

Vegetables in a wicker basket.

Herb Garden

The Herb Garden off the kitchen has many culinary and medicinal herbs and flowers. We also like to keep a few vegetables in there to have them handy when making breakfast.

Breakfast Room

Throughout the day, coffee, tea, purified water and ice can be found in this room at our Starved Rock Inn. There is also a microwave for everyone’s use. In the morning, this is where breakfast starts, help yourself to a bowl of fresh cut fruit or homemade muffins and breads. Then sit down and let us serve you a hot breakfast to start your day off right.

Breakfast room with three tables and various kitchen utensils.

Gathering Room

In the Gathering room you can find a number of games like chess, checkers, trivial pursuits, cards, scrabble, boggle and many more. You can also find glasses and corkscrews for whatever beverages you wish to bring with you.


There are many books in the Library you can peruse through, please feel free to read any while your here. The Library is also the main seating area for breakfast as well as access to the back deck and patio, where if it’s nice enough, you can eat outside as well.

Library with tables, chairs, and book shelves.
Aronia berry garden.

Aronia Plantation

In the Fall of 2011, we planted over 1800 Aronia berry bushes. What is an Aronia berry and why are you growing them you ask? The aronia berry has the highest concentration of antioxidants present in any fruit. We all know the importance of antioxidants in keeping us healthy and fighting diseases. Just this property of the aronia berry ought to make it a top contender for the healthiest fruit/berry ever. Because it is rich in antioxidants, it has a very high ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) value, almost 80 units which is probably the highest amongst fruits. However, there’s more. Aronia berries also have a lot of flavonoids which help the body in its fight against viruses, cancer causing elements, also known as carcinogens and different types of allergies.

We will be selling them on the market, but we will also be making jams, jellies, wines, syrups, muffins, trail mix, smoothies and many other things with these incredibly healthy little berries.

The Aronia bush itself is very attractive bush that will reach over 10 feet high and turns a lovely red in the fall.