Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I Have THE Menu

Here's what we know: After James Cox sold the property to Mary Hottel in 1889, it passed through several owners until local plumber, Lemuel (yes, that is a real name!) Corbin purchased it in 1947. He was in possession of the deed from 1947 to 1960. Assuming the 2006 town calendar picture was correct, the Corbins operated the Traveler's Inn Coffee Shop from 1946 to 1953.

If the date of 1946 is correct, then it is possible that the Corbins could have rented the property first before purchasing it in 1947. And although the calendar says that the business closed in 1953, we know from a newspaper clipping that it was still in operation in November of 1954.

After the Corbin's sold the property in 1960, the house became a private residence from that day until today.

From interviews with people who remember getting ice cream from the Coffee Shop as children, it is understood that Lemuel Corbin's wife Ruby ran the Coffee Shop. She died about two years ago, right before we bought the house. Philip the Historian plans to interview the lawyer who was in charge of her estate & will to garner more info.

I love small towns.  I love that people wave to you as you walk by on the street. I love that people sitting on porches are openly happy to talk to complete strangers. I love that I can talk to a descendant of Ruby Corbin every time I drop off my water bill at the town office. I love that small town conversations can lead to little things like... oh... say... acquiring a copy of the Coffee Shoppe Menu.


Please excuse me while I do a shameless victory jig on my kitchen table. In my robe & slippers. Poor neighbors.

Things that stand out to me...

  1. The sign on the outside of the building in the calendar picture reads "Coffee Shop" and the menu reads "Coffee Shoppe".
  2. That is the cutest icon of a 40s waitress.
  3. "Bill's Bldg" is hand written on the top. No clue as to what it could be in reference to.
  4. The Traveler's Inn was advertised as having reasonably priced, comfortable, clean rooms and a bath.
Now for the food. There aren't many prices listed. Maybe there was a large menu with prices on the wall of the coffee shop?

Mmmm. Small town breakfast.

Special luncheon 55 cents!? Free second cup of coffee!? Sold! Oh, coffee shop/tea room/sandwich shop! You rock my world!

And I'm glad that I haven't been erring too much by calling it the sandwich shoppe. After all, they served sandwiches!

I'm not sure about those soft drink listings... I'm not too keen on omelette soda, but I guess I'll try just about anything. Except eye balls. I'm not sure I could eat eye balls. Chilled monkey brains, yes. Eye balls, no.

I love, love, love having this menu. I twirled in happy circles around the town office when I got it. They think I'm a lunatic, but they give me things because they take pity on my cute child. I let him flirt and bat his eyes at them. Works every time.

On the back, there is an advertisement for a "One of Virginia's Greatest Natural Wonders"

Best. Find. To. Date.

I'm working on getting a picture of the inside of the Coffee Shop. Theresa (Ruby Corbin's relative) remembers seeing one somewhere. Ooo and maybe a picture of the Corbins! Wouldn't that be swell?

Now I'm off to do something crafty and related to home improvement to blog about so that I can give you a break from bludgeoning you to death with this house history. Your poor heads.


  1. My head doesn't hurt!! :) THAT IS SO COOL!!! :):):)

  2. Totally agree the Coffee Shoppe was reasonably priced :) I would like the Pork Chop, Applesauce, Potato drink please :)

  3. That's so cool! You are making so much progress finding out about your cool house. Love the menu!


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