Now get on out of here and go have some turkey. We’re closed today!
Stories, quotes and anecdotes from Appalachia, with an emphasis on the Depression era.
Churchill Weavers was founded by David Carroll Churchill and his wife, Eleanor Franzen Churchill, in 1922. Carroll Churchill, who was from Oberlin, OH, graduated in engineering from MIT at the turn of the century. In 1901 he traveled to India on behalf the British government to study the local handweaving industry.
Churchill noticed that handweavers could not compete with the output of power looms, so he developed adaptations to the fly-shuttle loom that increased the output of handweavers so that the individuals could make a solid living with their craft. Also while in India, Carroll met and married his second wife, Eleanor, who was there on missionary work. The Churchills returned to Oberlin in 1917.
Three years later Carroll moved the family to Berea, KY, where he began teaching at Berea College. He taught in the engineering department for two years before deciding to leave the college; he and the family, however, decided to remain in Berea. It was around this time that Carroll built a loom for Eleanor, who had not woven before that time. Set up in a room at a local hotel, Boone Tavern, Eleanor quickly learned the weaving handcraft and drew international attention for her design aesthetics.Read More »