Beaubien Tavern

Virtual Tour

By The Museums at Lisle Station Park

Beaubien Tavern (1830s)

Built in 1830s. Original location: Northwest corner of Ogden Ave. and Fender Rd. Primary use: tollhouse, lodging, food and drink, residence. The Beaubien Tavern was originally located on a 106 acre farm that belonged to Richard Sweet. Sweet resided in this building around 1833 after he finished his time as a soldier in Blackhawk War. He traded his property to Mark Beaubien in 1841 in return for The Sauganash building, originally located in Chicago near Fort Dearborn. Comfortably located a day’s journey by wagon from Chicago, the Beaubien Tavern was a popular gathering place for travelers on their way to and from Chicago. The Tavern’s accommodations included: - a smaller room for men to enjoy beverages and card games - a larger room for women and children to eat and drink tea - second floor bedrooms that served as a hotel for guest to stay the night. Business was good for a while, but the plank roads fell into disrepair and out of use. The tavern was sold at a sheriff’s sale in 1859 and used for various purposes until it was moved to the museum complex. 

Tour Tidbit: Beaubien Tavern

The taproom was where people came to enjoy beverages and play card games. Visit our website home page to read the self-guided pamphlet and the Tour Tidbit transcript.

Beaubien Tavern exterior wall (1832/1840) by Original BuilderThe Museums at Lisle Station Park

This picture shows nogging construction, where bricks are held together with mortar and wooden planks for structure. Bricks are an insulating material, meaning they keep the temperature consistent. This is probably why the exterior walls of the Beaubien Tavern are made of it.

The Sitting Room is where meals were served. The long area provided seating for more people than the taproom could provide.

The Tavern is one of the oldest timber frame structures still standing in DuPage County. The second floor bedrooms were used for travelers staying the night and were removed in the 1990s so you could see the original construction.

Beaubien Tavern original roof (1832/1840) by Original BuilderThe Museums at Lisle Station Park

The trees cut for the original roof's timbers would have gone to seed as early as the 1600s.

Beaubien Tavern floor joist (1832/1840) by Original builderThe Museums at Lisle Station Park

This original second floor beam shows original charred marks, evidence of a coal stove that was installed there.

This picture shows original wall timbers and the lath and plaster construction, thin boards that are held together with plaster.

Beaubien Tavern interior wall (1832/1840) by Original BuilderThe Museums at Lisle Station Park

This type of construction was cheaper than other types and also allows heat to travel through it to other rooms. This keeps everyone comfortable is why all of the interior walls of the Beaubien Tavern are made of lath and plaster.

Plank Road reproduction display (1850) by Lisle Heritage Society volunteersThe Museums at Lisle Station Park

Plank Road Reproduction Display

As Chicago grew into a regional hub for newcomers in the 19th century, the areas outside the city became increasingly important for providing goods, services, and homes. Lisle was becoming an important producer of dairy and other agricultural products. Plank roads were built to facilitate travel to and from Chicago - much easier to travel on than dirt roads and muddy riverbanks. By 1851, the Southwest Plank Road extended from Chicago through Lisle and to Naperville, on much of present-day Ogden Avenue and Plank Road. After several years the road proved to be a failure. The boards became slippery when wet, warped, impassable in the winter months, and thieves often stole pieces of the road. The Southwest Plank Road quickly fell into disrepair and lost revenue like Beaubien’s Tavern. The newly established continental railroads could transport goods much quicker and without the exhausting trips back and forth to more urban areas. This is a reproduction of what the Plank Roads looked like. 

Plank Road reproduction in the rain (2010) by MLSP/Lisle Heritage SocietyThe Museums at Lisle Station Park

Tour Tidbit: Plank Road Reproduction

This display is made from white oak, the same type of wood that would have been used to build the Plank Road in the 1800s. White oak wood has very small pores, reducing the risk of water soaking through each plank. Zoom in to see the sides of each plank in the rain.

Credits: Story

The Museums at Lisle Station Park

A cooperative effort of the Lisle Park District, Lisle Heritage Society, and Village of Lisle

921 School Street, Lisle, IL 60532

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Phone: 630-968-0499

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The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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