Timberlake Tavern-Lynchburg is a beautifully restored historic and elegant event center built in 1929 in central Virginia.
Located atop a knoll that overlooks a quiet 60-acre lake community, we offer indoor and outdoor celebration spaces, overnight accommodations, weekend stays, and fully-furnished apartments.
Timberlake Tavern – where lasting memories of special occasions are made.
When Edley Craighill and Fred Showalter conceived of Timber Lake in 1926 as a summer colony for residents of the Lynchburg area, a club site and beach was proposed. The lake was not yet completely formed. Yet over the next two years as the lake filled and the winding lake side drive was completed, 80 lots were sold and about 20 summer homes built.
By May of 1929, the work was nearly complete on a tavern, the Club beach, and a nine-hole golf course with the final hole located on high ground above the lake next to the Tavern.
In one short resort season, the Tavern became the social center of Timber Lake for dining, music, and celebrations.
The Timber Lake Tavern, with its wrap-around verandas, was designed by Edley Craighill with the construction supervised by Fred Showalter.
The brick and wooden structure built in 1928-29 has changed little over time. Native materials are evident throughout—greenstone steps, oak mantles, heart pine timber columns, wide oak flooring, and ever-blooming crepe myrtle trees gracing the approach.
It is practical and elegant with its symmetrical layout, large dining room and dance floor with dual fireplaces on the first floor and a central staircase that leads to a library, three apartments, and two guest rooms convenient as a bridal suite or restful family retreat space during an event.
Grand opening and beyond
The Timberlake Tavern officially opened on June 15, 1929 with a dinner and dancing affair for 135 guests.
In its description of the grand opening, the Lynchburg News printed Timberlake as one word, perhaps in error, rather than two words (Timber Lake) as was used in the marketing and advertising materials of the time. Thus started a naming trend, now accepted and understood as the quaint lake community in Campbell County. The article went on to describe that the guests were served a typical Virginia dinner of “fried chicken and ham with accompanying delicacies.”
The Tavern offered entertainment all summer summer long through the 1940s until 1951. It has served as a worship center and first home for Timberlake United Methodist Church, a meeting place for clubs and service groups, and was a private home for a number of years.
The Tavern was modernized as an event center with apartments in the early 2000s. New owners and managers, Etta Legner and Tom and DD Gillett, redecorated and upgraded the infrastructure and amenities in 2020.