Located outside of Brookville along the east fork of the Whitewater River, the Hermitage was the home of Hoosier School artist J. Ottis Adams. Adams and fellow Hoosier School artist T. C. Steele, happened across the house in 1897 and purchased it, because the natural setting was perfect for their Impressionist style landscapes. They added a studio to each end of the original 1835 house along with a large front porch. The interior was reconfigured to accommodate each artist, their separate families and any friends or visitors to the house.
The pair intended for the Hermitage to be a summer retreat, but Adams married Winifred Brady in 1898, and it became a more permanent home. Steele also married, but his first wife, Libbie, died in 1899 from tuberculosis, and (after her death) he lived in Indianapolis. He later remarried and established his own studio in Nashville, Indiana. However, Steele was still a frequent visitor and often spent summers there. Winifred Adams, also an accomplished artist, ended up using the south studio instead.
The Adamses had many visitors at their Brookville home. Another member of the Hoosier School, Otto Stark, was a frequent guest. J. Ottis Adams also ran an art school from the house for several years. He lived there off and on until his death in 1927. Winifred split her time between the Hermitage and Indianapolis until her death in 1945. Some of their furnishings and belongings remain in the home today.
The Hermitage now serves as a bed and breakfast. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2004.