Linville Falls Tavern

Famous Louise's Rock House Restaurant is located in Linville Falls, North Carolina and is on the National Register of Historical Places.  It was formerly known as the Linville Falls Tavern and was built by Lenoir Franklin (1871 - 1943).  Lenoir is best known for his photography of the local area.  Upon his death, he had left his family about 2,000 photographic glass plates, which he had taken over the years.  His photographs depicted the local people and their way of life.   Besides a photographer, Lenoir was also a stonemason and his stonework can be seen at this well-known area restaurant.

 

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Famous Louise's Rock House - Linville Falls, North Carolina

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Many local restaurants offer smoking and no smoking areas.  But in one restaurant in Linville Falls, diners have to make a different choice: which of three counties to dine in.

 

Located at the intersection of Highways 221 and 183, Famous Louise's Rock House Restaurant happens to sit on the exact spot where Burke, McDowell, and Avery Counties meet.  "They join right near the fireplace," says Shirley Yager, daughter of owner Louise Henson.

 

Last Saturday, at the suggestion of her friends Albert Franklin and Peggy Hamlin, Louise Henson put up signs that show the approximate boundary lines.  Painted by Hamlin, a local artist, they proclaim "Entering Avery (or McDowell or Burke) County" on both sides.

 

By walking across the dining room, you visit three of the state's counties.  The food is cooked in Avery County, but the waitresses pick it up in Burke!  Then they may have to go to Avery or McDowell to serve their customers.  Or maybe both - a few tables sit right on the county lines.

 

The story of the restaurant in three counties begins in Civil war times, when the state legislature formed Mitchell County from five other counties - and created  the unique three boundary spot.

 

When a  later state government used the northern section of Mitchell County to form part of Avery County in 1911, the joint line  with Burke and McDowell passed to it.

 

One obvious question:  what happens at tax time?  Because most of the land, and the parking lot, are in McDowell County, the restaurant pays its taxes there.

 

When you're done eating at the Rock House, it's only a few steps to the cash register - in Avery County - and back to your car - in McDowell.  Unless you park on the right side of the building, then you're in Burke.

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