In 1978, while Cyrus and Florence Keefer were designing their new house in Middletown, PA, they remembered a small furniture store in Elizabethtown that built custom furniture. They particularly loved the unique and beautiful graining of black walnut wood. George’s Woodcrafts specializes in Black Walnut wood. Cyrus and Florence visited Georges and ordered a trestle table and chairs to fit their eat-in kitchen space.
A family tradition was to gather around the trestle table Sunday nights and Cyrus made sandwiches (his specialty and only time cooking) for all the families that come for the evening. Whey Cyrus passed in 1980 at a young age, the trestle table and chairs set passed on to his daughter and son-in-law, Lorri and Kurt Siffin.
The table was a sentimental piece of furniture. A pleasant reminder of our father and family home, recalls Lorri. The table has aged well. The memory marks have added character to the table. It is a piece worthy to be passes on.
The table set moved into the Siffin family home and received many years of loving care. It followed the family through several moves, always serving as a gathering place for family meals. When Kurt and Lorri down sized to their current home in Long Neck, Delaware, the table and chairs went into storage.
After having been carefully stored for 2 years, the table set has a new home in Philadelphia, PA. Cyrus’s granddaughter, Karly Siffin, recently moved from a small apartment into a town home. They now had room for the family heirloom. The table fits perfectly in the dining space of Karly’s new home in Manayunk, PA.
“I love that this table belonged to my grandparents. It is very special to me.” – Karly
Worthy to Pass On
Each customer of George’s Furniture enjoys the ability to pass their heirlooms from one generation to another. The exceptionally high-quality construction and strong, protective finishes, allow George’s furniture to survive decades. Join the many satisfied customers and begin your family traditions of gathering around a table and enjoying the beauty of handcrafted furniture.
Beginning in 1969 and for many years after that, George and I had a booth at Springs Folk Festival. We sold our wooden lamps with woven veneer shades and lathe-turned candle holders. Cross-cut stools made from a log with the bark still on the edge added to the collection. However the most popular item were the engraved signs and nameplates. Each sign was made for the customer while they waited. Ray and Gloria Becker assisted with the many customers. Ray sanded and attached chain hangers to the plaques while George did the engraving. Later, as George and his craftsman started making furniture, the collection included tables, chairs, dry sinks, hutches. George’s famous non-tip rocking chairs caught a lot of attention.
The Springs Folk Festival Craft show
The town of Springs, PA is located in the tri-state area of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Maryland. The first weekend in October was the peak for beautiful fall foliage in the area. The stand holders demonstrated their craft which added authenticity to the event. Bus loads of people from Baltimore, Washington DC and Pittsburgh came. On a beautiful Saturday, cars lined up from nearby Grantsville, MD, waiting to find parking in the grass fields around the festival. On rainy days, cars got stuck in the fields and young car parkers needed to push them out of the mud.
Food brings crowds
Several other attractions were the food made by the Amish and Mennonite cooks. Homemade bread baked in an old-time beehive-shaped bake oven. Then covered with a generous helping of apple butter, made in a large copper kettle over a fire. Special “festival sausage” made with the “whole pig”, hams and all kinds of other local favorites. As business grew, George focused his attention more at home. In recent years, the next generation owners decided to attend the Sugarloaf Craft Festivals near cities like Philadelphia, New York, Washington DC and Baltimore.
Thriving Furniture Manufacturing
Heather and Craig watched Georges Woodcrafts develop from the small budding business in 1974 to a thriving furniture manufacturing business it is today. Regardless of the ridiculously small showroom that required them to slide past a shelving unit to visit the rest of the store, Craig and Heather remember their delightful visit with George. During their first trip to the showroom, Craig learned about the amazing non-tip rocking chair. After purchasing a rocking chair, Heather found out they were expecting their first child. A larger showroom space greeted them during their next visit.
Wood working passion
George loved working with the customers to discover their unique design requests. He stopped what he was doing and gave them his undivided attention. His passion and knowledge of crafting solid hardwood furniture is an education that many of his customers experienced. A genuine artist who loved to share his passion for quality. Everyone left the showroom with a fresh look at quality furniture and a mind full of ideas.
Nobody has a finish like George’s. It’s held up all these 45 years.–Heather
Not only does George pay attention to the small details, he also delivered their furniture. Pam remembers one delivery when Georges came smelling like wood smoke from working on the farmette where the wood shop building and showrooms are located in Marietta, PA.
Craig not only purchased a rocking chair, but they added an intermediate chair for their grandchildren, a vanity bench for Heather’s spinning wheel, and a custom piece that needed to fit into a 40-inch space between the fireplace and wall. They purchased two child-size table and chair sets for their children’s families.
Craig and Heather Kegerise continue to visit George’s showroom and dream of new furniture for their house. Join our growing number of customers who love to share their discovery of handcrafted furniture Made Your Way.
George realized his natural gift and talent for making quality wood products and wanted to spread the word. The challenge with spreading the word about quality of hand-crafted products is finding customers who appreciate handcrafted items.
George first displayed his wood items at Springs Festival, Springs, PA. He skillfully created live edge furniture such as stools, benches, tables, and bookends. Thin, woven wood-strip baskets and lamp shades characterized his unique, woodworking styles. Throughout the show day, George engraved custom plaques ready in one hour. Other larger wood items like rockers, dry sinks, trestle table and benches were available for purchase. Customers also used the furniture to explore the different furniture style options for placing custom orders. For many years, the order placed at the craft show supplied work for the next 12 months. George not only went to Springs festival but also displayed his crafts at the Dutch Family Festival in Lancaster, PA during the summer tourist season.
In 1973, he rented a small showroom at 4 Center Square, Elizabethtown, PA. Later that winter he moved his furniture store to 20 S. Market Street, Elizabethtown, where he sold furniture for thirteen years. This furniture store was quite small but allowed customers to see the quality of craftsmanship made by George and his craftsmen. On Friday and Saturdays, he also had a stand at Meadowbrook Farmer’s Market, Leola, PA. George purchased a 12-acre farm where he moved his wood working shop into the dairy barn.
Showroom and wood shop tours
One added benefit our customers enjoy is touring the wood shop. George moved the showroom to the same location as the wood shop. Allowing customer to view the furniture manufacturing shows everyone the time and attention to detail given to each piece of furniture. The larger showrooms present a visual display of completed furniture. Larger furniture-dining room sets, bedroom suites, living room tables, entertainment centers are displayed.
Our two large showrooms are located 9 Reichs Church Road, Marietta, PA, Monday through Saturday. The wood-shop tour exhibits the manufacturing process from raw lumber to finished furniture. Take a trip to our location and enjoy the quality furniture and talk to our design team about a new piece of custom-made furniture. We also display our furniture at craftshows in the Eastern United States. Check our website for updated schedule.
Rocking chairs are cherished for their comfortable, gentle rocking ability that calms the nerves of a hard day. Mothers enjoy their newborn babies as they rock them to sleep. This is the story of how the Dubiel family discovered George’s Rocker Recliner.
Rocker’s Lost battle
Dick and Lori Dubiel purchased a rocking chair their home. An unfortunate experience happened to their rocker. Their uncle was rocking comfortably, when the rocking chair lost its battle and broke. Looking through the phone book, Lori found George’s Woodcrafts (presently George’s Furniture) and visited the store in Elizabethtown, PA, Lancaster County.
“My uncle rocked in my not so great rocking chair and as he pushed on the arms to get up, they broke off. I had seen George’s store in Elizabethtown so I went in to ask if he could reattach the arms. As I looked at George’s quality of work, I realized that I did not want him to see my broken chair. Instead, I went and ordered one of his rockers to replace the broken rocker. I wanted a good quality chair that would survive my two boys and George’s non tipping rocker was perfect. I purchased a rocker that George had on the floor.” -Lori Dubiel.
As a result of Dick and Lori’s rocking experience, they discovered George’s quality furniture. Their first furniture purchase was a walnut oval pedestal table set, dry sink and a crosscut stool. Once placing the order, the couple made small payments. However, as a surprise for his wife, Dick secretly placed additional money on their order. Lori’s mother joined into the fun and purchased her own rocking chair which she past unto her grandson. Five years later a corner hutch joined their collection.
Individual Attention to Detail
George loved to delivery his own furniture. The Dubiel’s remember their corner hutch delivery. Once the hutch was carefully placed in their room, George proceeded to checked all his furniture to be sure that no damage occurred during the Dubiel’s recent move. Years later, the Dubiels moved to South Carolina but remain in contact through George’s monthly newsletter. Discover George’s solid wood furniture in Lancaster County PA today.
Baby Cradle For New Arrival
A new baby was soon to enter into Doug and Shirley’s family. Their daughter announced the expected arrival of their new grandchild on March 15, 1989. An idea of a wooden cradle was on the top of the list and the search began. They didn’t want just any regular cradle. It had to be a unique and handcrafted. As they traveled around Lancaster County, they saw George’s hand-engraved road signs.
In the showroom a child’s cradle greeted them. They worked with George to design a special cradle perfect for their new grandchild. They were delighted when the cradle arrived just in time.
Mystery Tour Discovered
Years later, a friend wanted to take a group of their friends on a mystery tour. The tour guide was all excited to show some special places they had found. After about three stops on the mystery tour, Doug realized that they were traveling on roads close to George’s Furniture. Sure enough, their next stop was George’s Furniture. “Our daughters cradle came from George’s,” Doug proudly announced. The tour guide was a little disappointed that they had not surprise Doug and Shirley. However, the disappointment was soon forgotten while the group enjoyed a personalize wood shop tour.
Tall Bed Challenge Solved
Shirley always enjoyed a tall bed. She loved diving into her 36” high bed. The higher bed allowed for some extra storage under the bed. However, when she needed to have back surgery, her therapist said, “No more diving into your bed.” She came back to George and requested a bed stool to be made. It had one step and worked perfectly. Now she could slowly roll into bed without pain. Later a hand rail was added.
No Discontinued Styles
Well, another grand child is entering their family and it is time for another cradle. George’s Furniture maintained the design from the first cradle and made another cradle. These cradles will be cherished heirlooms for years to come.
Customer Shares Excitement
Doug and Shirley still talk about their experience with George’s furniture to all their friends and look forward to blessing their future grandchildren. Visit our showroom and image the unique designs for your next heirloom.