A Little History about Boone Tavern and Churchill Weavers

Title

A Little History about Boone Tavern and Churchill Weavers

Description

Boone Tavern in Berea reopened last year after extensive remodeling. This famous landmark is named for Daniel Boone and is located in downtown Berea, along Boone’s historic Wilderness Trail from Cumberland Gap to Fort Boonesborough. Owned and operated by Berea College, the hotel opened in 1909 and was originally constructed to provide housing for college visitors.

New York architects Cady and See designed the original Colonial Revival style building. Its two entrances are covered by a two-story portico with Ionic columns. Much of the furniture and drapery was made by students at the college.

There is a dining room, which provides excellent food for individuals or groups. Long-time Tavern manager and chef Richard Hougen authored a well-known cookbook, “Look No Further.” Although called a tavern, no liquor is served, since the city of Berea is dry. Berea College once operated a farm that produced and sold to the public eggs, milk and bread. The school also once owned the Berea Citizen, still a weekly newspaper.

Boone Tavern is a major draw of tourists traveling north and south on I-75.

My information on Churchill Weavers comes from Lavinia Kubiak’s book “Madison County Rediscovered.” The company was established by Carroll and Eleanor Churchill in 1921. Carroll Churchill was an engineer and former missionary to India, and later chair of the physics department at Berea College. He invented a new fly-shuttle loom, which became the basis of his hand-weaving industry. His wife designed and marketed the products, selling them across America. Special local sales were widely attended, and tours of the large building, with numerous skilled ladies operating the looms, were available.

After Carroll Churchill died, the company was sold at least times and its building now sits empty. The city of Berea recently turned down an offer to take over the property. Woven products made in the Midwest are still marketed under the name Churchill Weavers ... but the original blankets and throws were crafted here in Madison County. If you have one squirreled away in a cedar chest, get it out and display it proudly!

Creator

Dr. Fred Engle

Date

6/8/2010

Rights

Content may be freely copied for personal and educational purposes with appropriate citation. Permission is required to reprint.

Files

Collection

Citation

Dr. Fred Engle, “A Little History about Boone Tavern and Churchill Weavers,” Madison's Heritage Online, accessed November 23, 2017, http://madisonsheritage.omeka.net/items/show/2141.