Tag Archives: Berea KY

Churchill Weavers of Berea, KY

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.

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One time the boy next to me tried to bribe me to misspell a word

There was virtually no work to be had for Papa in Berea, KY, so he had to remain behind in Lee County as long as his job lasted. But at no time, then or later, did he fail to provide for his family, as best he could. Mama, especially, bore a heavy burden, trying to […]

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She didn’t need a thing except to get interested in something

Citizen (Berea, Ky.) Thursday, July 7, 1910. “Keep Busy” It is not money that is the root of all evil. It is idleness. Idleness leads to poverty, Idleness invites disease. Idleness breeds crime. Everywhere people are to be found who seem to put but little value upon time. They may know the full worth of […]

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A racy book, full of the thrill of mountain adventure

In winter one must draw the little hickory split chair close to the hearth, for most of the heat from the great glowing fire goes up the chimney. The house may have a small window-sash immovably built in. Often there is none. The woman cooks breakfast before sun-up, and supper after dark, by the smoky […]

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