BEAVER DAM CAFE
L to R: Ethel (Tilford) Bivens, E. J. Knight, Tootsie Givens (in the back), Betty Dale, Lee Bivens (Ethel’s second husband after Mr. Tilford’s death) & unknown man. The little girl in front is Louise Evans.
Originally known as The Tilford Hotel and later the The Beaver Dam Hotel & Restaurant. The hotel was upstairs. Most of the rooms still have the small cast iron sinks on the wall as they did not each have a private bath.
The following information is from Terry Knight, a descendant of the original owner: “My grandfather, E. J. Tilford, was probably the driving force behind the original venture. I believe he bought or had built the Cafe and operated it as a combination cafe and small hotel prior to 1919. He purchased the corner hotel building from a man named "Vinson" and renamed it "The Tilford Hotel" back before 1921 (the year he died).
My maternal grandmother, Ethel (Charlotte Raines) [Tilford] Bivens, was the personality that made the businesses successful afterwards. She and her five daughters, including the three shown in the photo above, Ethel Joseph "E.J." [Tilford] Knight, Ida Maude "Tootsie" [Tilford] Givens, and Mary Elizabeth "Betty" [Tilford] Dale, worked very hard to establish reliable food and lodging service for Beaver Dam and the surrounding community. At the time of grandma's death she owned all the buildings on the one side from the hotel to where Dale Accounting is presently. She also was a major property owner throughout Beaver Dam.
After my mother and her two older sisters passed away, I bought the Cafe from their estates and leased it to various others until I eventually sold it to Margaret Bellford ca. 1995.
Other interesting note: My grandmother was the daughter of Orville Payton Raines and Ida Anne [
Monroe] Raines. Ida Anne
Monroe, great-grandmother to my siblings and our local cousins was a sibling to
James Buchanan "Buck" Monroe, who was married to Malissa Vandiver
(sister of Pendleton 'Uncle Pen’ Vandiver), and mother of William S.
"Bill" Monroe of Rosine.”
Source: Terry Knight (grandson of E. J. Tilford and Ethel Tilford Bivens)