Stop 9. Log House Craft Gallery and Sunshine Ballard Weaving
Built in 1916 of tulip poplar logs, Log House was originally called “Log Palace” because of its balconies, pediment, and columns. It is considered the birthplace of Student Crafts. At that time, weaving was the only craft program in what was known as the Berea Fireside Industries. Weaving looms were installed on the second floor, while the first floor served as a gallery for retail sales of the woven items produced as well as sales of other handmade Appalachian crafts, part of Berea College’s effort to strengthen the region’s economy. As student crafts expanded, Sunshine Ballard Cottage was built to house the weaving program. Today the Log House sells student-made crafts and high quality handmade crafts from all over the United States and houses the Wallace Nutting Furniture Museum. In the early 1900s, Nutting collected Early American and Colonial furniture and founded a company to manufacture reproductions. Nutting, who was a supporter of Berea College during his lifetime, bequeathed a collection of furniture and handtinted photographs to the college. Like many college buildings, the Log House had an ecomakeover in 2006 to reduce energy consumption while retaining its historic appearance.
Sunshine Ballard Cottage, also built of logs and wood shingles, is one of the most popular sites for visitors to Berea College, as visitors can walk right up to the looms and chat with the student workers as they weave. The plan is U-shaped with an irregular gable roof, gable dormers, and stone chimney. A low-lying effect is achieved by deep eaves and window lintels set under the eaves. Beginning weavers use hand looms, but the more advanced use a fly-shuttle loom to create the intricate patterns on baby blankets, placemats, rugs, and throws.