Beaubien Tavern

Virtual Tour

Taverns werent just a place to get a drink – they were places where people could meet, stay the night, do business, and even sign city charters!
This Tavern was originally located along the Southwest Plank Road (Odgen Avenue) near the Lisle-Naperville border. The building was built in the 1830s by William Sweet. He traded the tavern along with a 106-acre farm to Mark Beaubien in 1841 in return for Beaubien’s Sauganash Hotel, another historic establishment located at Chicago’s Wolf Point. 

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

Plank Road reproduction display, Lisle Heritage Society volunteers, 1850, From the collection of: The Museums at Lisle Station Park
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By 1851, the Southwest Plank Road stretched from Chicago, through Lisle, to Naperville. People using this plank road could travel from Beaubien’s Tavern to Chicago in about one day’s time. Businesses, like Beaubien’s Tavern, were successful along the road as they gave travelers easy access to food, drink and rest during their trips.

Beaubien’s Tavern also served as one of the toll gates along the road. The tolls were used to upkeep the road, but that was a difficult task as the wooden planks quickly warped and deteriorated due to our weather, or were stolen by thieves. After several years, the road proved to be a failure and transporting goods along plank roads declined. The Southwest Plank Road was abandoned for transporting goods with the rise of railroads.

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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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