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.
The ability to custom design our furniture creates great opportunities for unique wooden designs. Our craftsmen listen to the request and then work with the natural properties of wood and build strong, long-lasting products.
A permanently disabled customer could not find a quality pair of wooden crutches. She did not like the metal crutches. After finding George’s Furniture, she asked if we could make a pair of wooden crutches. The craftsman laminated walnut and maple wood together and bent them into beautiful, strong crutches. She was so thrilled that she requested a second pair before she moved to Hawaii. Our furniture is now in Hawaii providing a vigorous support for a happy customer.
Extra Large Rocker
Georges invented a non-tipping rocker at the beginning of his business in the 1970s. True to his inventive abilities, George fulfilled another unique request. A very tall, large man visited the store and requested a rocking chair.
“I was just about ready to make a bigger rocking chair.” -George Martin
Georges used the current pattern and design, tweaked the angles a bit and built a strong non-tip rocker for a very heavy and tall man. The ecstatic customer had the confidence that his rocker would hold his weight and not tip over.
An Alaskan searched the internet for a quality rocking chair. He desired to surprise his wife. Gerogesfurniturepa.com came up in the internet search. The rocking chair, demonstration video, convinced him this rocker was the best rocking chair available for his wife. He never saw the rocking chair until we shipped it to him in Alaska. He is delighted and loved rocking in the chair when his wife is not using it.
Wooden marble chaser
Early in Georges furniture career, he designed a marble chaser. He thought the single track was boring and step up his game by designing a two-track chaser. The two-track marble chaser added an extra dimension. Not only does the marble roll down the track but it also races its opponent to the end. Georges featured the marble chaser as a game of marble racing during the Best Kept Secret Tour of Lancaster County, PA. Each tour attendee raced against the champion marble to win a discount or small gift.
More, More, More
A dog wooden kennel, stairways gate, crosscut critter (a natural crosscut of a walnut tree with open center), violin case, flute case, and a shadow box table displaying sand from places of travel are all designed from customers requests. What will be the next new design crafted by Georges Furniture? Visit our store and wood working shop for a close look at quality handcrafted furniture in Lancaster County, PA.
Stephen and Dora started their adventure looking for quality custom design furniture for their new office space. They searched various furniture stores and websites for a long time. One website that caught their attention directed them to a small wood shop in Marietta, PA that made custom design office furniture. A thorough combing through the furniture pictures on Georgesfurniturepa.com perked their interest to explore this business in greater depth.
The first item on the list was a conference table. A raised paneled executive desk and credenza joined the completed office furniture order.
“I now have a desk that commands the respect as an executive. Behind my desk is a large wall unit with beautiful shelving.” -Dora
Flexibility of design
A trip to George’s furniture introduced the quality craftsmanship, flexibility in design and durability that characterizes all the furniture handcrafted in George’s wood shop. They learned about how solid hardwood furniture is made while watching the craftsmen create furniture during a wood shop tour. Many details, ideas, and conversations later resulted in the first of many pieces of walnut furniture. Stephen recalls the amazing attention to details displayed from the initial design phase to the final finishing of the conference table.
Custom headboard design
The personal experience and quality of craftsmanship led Stephen and Dora to fill their house with more unique handcrafted furniture. Each room required specific spacing and a desire for functionality. The next room requiring furniture was the bedroom. A specially designed headboard is a massive wall unit that looks like it was custom built in the room. It includes two large nightstands with storage units on top, a mirror sandwiched between and a valance to complete the unit. Each nightstand section had a pullout shelf for additional counter space. A hope chest stands at the footboard adding more storage space. While the headboard wall unit is the center attraction of the bedroom, a large dresser, chest of drawers and a double armoire bring the bedroom suite to life. All the furniture displayed wooden handles and raised panel sides. A special heart was engraved into the hope chest.
Dora says, “The walnut wood is so gorgeous.”
As a retired police officer, Stephen wanted some hidden places for special items. Together with Anthony, our furniture designer, they designed hidden storage with unique accesses into various pieces of their furniture.
Ideas are endless
The ability to design furniture to meet personal desires is an asset that drives Stephen and Dora’s journey of creative living spaces. They look forward to designing a beach bedroom and dining room soon. The love for quality furniture spurs Stephen and Dora to share their newfound treasure with everyone they meet. Come join them in their discovery of quality furniture at George’s Furniture store and bring your dreams to a reality.
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.
One of George’s differences is the ability to tour our wood working shop and see our furniture production. Not only do customers tour our wood shop, but they can also schedule to see their own furniture as it progresses through the wood shop.
See furniture order hand crafted
“My wife and I had been furniture shopping for over a year and decided it was time to buy. While my wife was getting ready, I decided to make one last internet search for Lancaster County furniture stores. I was positive that we had already visited every furniture store so I was not optimistic about finding something new. George’s Furniture appeared on a list of stores we had previously visited, some of them multiple times. They were located near Maytown so I clicked on their website.” -Tom
Tom and Karen worked with our designers to create the perfect dining set that meets the specific needs and interests. They also scheduled an appointment to see their furniture in process. During their unique tour, they saw the chairs ready for assembly. The artisan carefully placed glue into the precisely angled holes drilled into in the seat for the chair legs. Tom and Karen observed the chair leveling process to make sure the chair will sit level in their home.
“I didn’t realize that so much work goes into making furniture.” — Tom
The finished table waited in the completed area. A bench is ready for assembly. The glued together coffee table wood top waited for shaping and edge routing. The stained panty waited for the final clear water-resistant coat of catalyzed conversion varnish. The bed not started.
Assembly lines vs hand crafted
Several minutes into the tour, Tom asked about the difference between George’s furniture process and other furniture manufacturing. He referred to the cost and time difference of mass production assembly lines. Mass production uses production lines, large sheets of plywood and particleboard in the construction. They spend little time on matching grain and preparation (planning, cutting, and gluing together the solid wood) for assembly.
The path to quality
Handcrafted custom furniture made at George’s shop displays the careful attention to the wood grain, design, durability, and strength of the construction. Each artisan selects properly dried solid wood boards, cuts them to length, joints, and thickness plains the surfaces to prepare for gluing the wood pieces together. The furniture is ready for assembly after construction of all the individual parts (legs, skirts, tops, sides, drawers: fronts, sides, bottom-all solid wood, raised panel doors, rungs, seats, chair top, tongue-groove backing, etc.)
Next, they stain it, and apply a clear coat of finish. The artisan signs and dates their finished piece before an all-over light sanding and final application of water-resistant clear coat of spray-top to bottom, inside and out. Next to last stop – the hardware, table slides, and tongue-groove backing. Last stop is the storage area where it waits for the completion of the other pieces in the order and delivery to the customer’s house.
Beginning the furniture process
“We were met by Anthony upon our arrival. After explaining what we were looking for, he expertly guided us through all the options. When ordering custom made furniture there are lots of decisions to make. After several hours our order was finalized. -Tom
See your furniture in process
Our furniture was recently delivered and we are very happy with all the pieces. They are gorgeous and exactly as we ordered. The entire process from beginning to end was very pleasant and trouble free. We visited the shop and saw several of our pieces while in production. -Tom
Come and experience the George’s difference. The unique process of designing a new piece of furniture and scheduling to see its handcrafting journey enhances the furniture search. Tour two large showrooms, explore new ideas and see the quality of craftsmanship.
In closing, my wife and I would like to sincerely
thank everyone at George’s Furniture. -Tom and Karen