Rose Inn (tavern)

Known Name(s)

Rose Inn (tavern)


331 N. Main St. Lexington, VA

Establishment Type(s)


Physical Status



The VMI Corps Physicial Training Facility is now in this location.

Detailed History

From an article written by the Executive Director of the Rockbridge Historical Society, Erin Wilson, in early 2019, "Re-Visiting Rockbridge, 1939: A New Year’s Journey with RHS, and “The Negro Motorist Green Book:”
"On the site where the VMI Training Facility now stands, the Rose Inn was part of an industrious corridor of black businesses that constellated along North Main Street in the 20th century. It stood just north of the lively Knights of Pythias building, home at the time to the fabled 'House of Fun' where Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Count Basie’s orchestra and others once memorably performed.
My own first cue to the Rose Inn – shortly after I’d started researching The Green Book for other purposes – came a few years back when preparing RHS’ school programs on the Histories, Stories, and Arts of Diamond Hill (we’re now in our 5th year of this interactive learning experience featuring local black history, performing arts, and neighborhood engagement with students finishing their 4th Grade Virginia Studies Curriculum). While following some broader leads, I was connected with the granddaughter of the woman who’d run the business. While there’s much still to learn here, such personal witness, family papers, and oral histories of the sort – no less than local advertising, tax records, and archival and digital research – will all remain vital in returning these stories to light, in their comparative, contemporary contexts."
Many thanks to Eric and Lynn Rainville for their help with this project.

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