Featherbone Restaurant and Lounge | Family Restaurant | Berrien County | Three Oaks | Sports Bar | Bar and Grill

The Featherbone Story

In 1882 Edward Kirk Warren took a feather from a turkey and conceived an idea that would revolutionize an industry. From this idea a remarkable new product was spawned and a thriving company followed.

E.K. Warren began his career at the age of sixteen as a clerk in a dry goods store. He worked 12-14 hours a day, slept on the counter at night and for his efforts received a mere 50 cents a day. Seven years later, he became a partner in the store and eventually purchased the business. E.K. recognized a need in the women's dress industry for a cheaper and more pliable stay material to replace whalebone. During a visit to a feather duster manufacturing plant, E.K. observed that turkey quills by the thousands were regularly discarded. He saw an opportunity to provide a low cost substitute for whalebone. He coined the term "Featherbone" and introduced it to the market in 1883.

The Warren Featherbone Company began operations in the tiny village of Three Oaks in October of 1883. A decade later, his employees numbered in the hundreds.

His efforts paid off. By the turn of the century, Warren's featherbone was the preferred choice of wholesale and retail dry goods merchants across the country. In 1901, the famous actress Sarah Bernhardt commented that Warren's Featherbone was the best dressing boning material in existence and was always used in her costumes.

E.K. Warren possessed an uncommon sense of community. He used his money and influences to secure a railroad stop and depot at Three Oaks. He worked for better roads. He was instrumental in giving the town a municipal water and lighting plant. Long before is was popular, E>K> Warren was a conservationist. His most precious conservation project was a 320 acre tract of timberland just north of Three Oaks. Today, Warren Woods State Park is one of the few remianing, intact examples of virgin climax beech-maple forests in the country. Another tract along the shores of Lake Michigan was preserved as well and later donated to the state. Today, Warren Dunes State Park contains 1900 acres with 2 1/2 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline. With more than one million visitors annually, it is one of the most highly visited state parks in Michigan.

He poured an abundance of time and resources into the World Sunday School movement. In 1904, he carried through the immense project of holding the Fourth International Sunday School Convention in Jerusalem and he personally chartered an ocean liner so that 800 U.S. delegates could attend the gathering.

The legacy of the Warren family will live forever, all because of a little Turkey "featherbone".

We chose The Featherbone as the name of our restaurant as a tribute to the Warren family and all they have meant to Three Oaks and the surrounding area.