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.
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.
The search for furniture is a common need for people all over the America and beyond. Some are looking for furniture that will only last for several years while others are seeking furniture that will be heirlooms and will shine the quality for years to come. The search for the highest quality, solid, hardwood furniture made in America led Linda and Ed Riffert to Lancaster County, PA. After several years of looking in many furniture stores and experiencing disappointment of the quality, they nearly gave up. Is quality furniture still being made these days?
It’s Worth the Wait
During a visit to Kitchen Kettle, Intercourse, PA, they discovered a brochure from George’s Furniture. They followed their GPS clear across Lancaster County, through the cornfields, away from the tourist area and the heavy traffic. It seemed so far away. The GPS said they arrived, but where was the showroom. To Linda’s delight, several small signs stating, “George’s Furniture.” “Straight Ahead”. “It is worth the wait” “Where dreams come true.” greeted them as they made their final journey to the wood shop and showrooms.
Quality Furniture discovered
Finally, a place where quality furniture is made and you can even see it being constructed in the wood shop. The quality was astounding. Ed and Linda worked with George and purchased a large oak corner cupboard for their house. A new cascading LED light is now shining the beautiful grain on Ed’s desk.
Craft Show findings
The Rifferts love attending craft shows and seeing quality items. They continue to stop by our stand at the Kutztown Folk Festival, Heart of Lancaster and the numerous Sugarloaf Shows. They love sharing their experience with George’s Furniture to people at the shows. I enjoy watching their excitement as they share about finding quality furniture.
Sharing with others
Quality is meant to be shared. Recently the Rifferts brought their daughter and son-in-law into the showroom to assist in their new dining table. Quality is passing to the next generation. Come and experience the furniture made by one craftsman while you watch. Contact us or visit our website for ideas of a new heirloom.
Spanning centuries, the Hope Chest is an ancient tradition in which a wooden chest is filled with household items. This handcrafted chest would be prepared for a young girl to aid her for her eventual status as a wife. The term hope implied wishes for a good future for the girl who would receive the chest.
An Ancient Tradition
Traditionally, items such as blankets, towels, oil lamps, dishes, candles, and bedding would fill the chest. Often, the girl’s father would build the hope chest himself, decorating it with art or mosaics. Typically, mothers taught their daughters how to sew, crochet, embroider, and knit from an early age. The girl would then stock the chest with linens, towels, napkins, blankets, and other items that she had made herself. Filling the hope chest with these handmade items would be a blessing when she entered married life, and it would prove her abilities and skills. The basic idea of the hope chest was that the new couple would have the necessities they would need for their new life together.
A Tradition Worth Keeping
Is the hope chest is an outdated and obsolete idea? In a time where almost anything can be purchased online with the click of a button, why would we bother to handcraft a chest let alone fill it with handcrafted items? We’d respond with one word: Hope.
Despite the change in our culture over the centuries, as parents, we still have hope for our children’s future. We hope they marry and enjoy fulfilling and healthy relationships with their spouse and others. Hoping they will bless us with grandchildren and carry on the traditions, we’ve worked diligently to instill good habits. The Hope chest represents so much more than hope for a happy marriage. It is not an antiquated idea or an irrelevant tradition—it is reflective of the good we wish to see happen, and accompanied by our expectation of obtaining that good for our children and future generations.
A Blessing To This Generation and the Next
Naturally, if the chest is appropriately filled with practical and useful items, it can be a thoughtful blessing for a new bride and groom. In modern terms, a hope chest can also be beneficial for a young adult moving out from under his or her parents wings and into their own home for the first time. These chests can be an unforgettable gift to give, regardless of the circumstances.
Made of solid wood and guaranteed to last for years to come, George’s Furniture’s Hope chests are a versatile asset to any home. Traditionally used to store blankets and linens, these chests can store whatever you need them to. A hope chest is a good companion at the bottom of a bed to rest while putting on shoes. They can even become toy chests! All of George’s Hope chests are able to be engraved so you can relay a personal message to the person or people that will receive the custom-made chest.
See For Yourself
Stop by and visit us at the shop! We’d love to show you around! See you soon!
Wedding season is almost here! The months of June through September are the peak of this exciting event. You probably received an invitation or two to an upcoming wedding celebration. Tucked neatly inside the invitation, is a meaningful piece of information—the wedding registry.
The wedding registry is a very exciting endeavor for the bride and groom alike. However, many couples only think about registering for items they need right now. The truth is, over time, the household needs change and the items on a registry should be just as practical today as they are in the future. Many couples opt to have children, and open their home for the holidays. Perhaps, an aging parent or family member will need to move in.
Ultimately, couples find they entertain more and more in the years to come. So, the items on the wedding registry should recognize the changes life brings and accommodate those changes. Therefore, a balanced wedding registry is crucial. Include plenty of options reflecting a wide-range of prices. A good rule of thumb is to register for more gifts than guests. Guests want to choose the gift they like to give.
When preparing a wedding registry, you think of things like measuring cups and spoons, flatware, dinnerware, a Kitchen-Aid mixer, laundry baskets, and other necessary household items. Although these items are important and certainly necessary, a crucial, overlooked category on the wedding registry is furniture.
Many couples hesitate to ask for larger-ticket items such as a bed, a desk, bookshelves, sideboard, or a dining room table. They don’t realize that friends and family want to “pool” their funds to provide the newlyweds with a larger, long-lasting and more exciting gift. While bowls break and spoons are lost, furniture typically stays with a couple for many, many years. High quality furniture built right, will become a heirloom!
Register at George’s
Did you know that George’s Furniture offers wedding registries? Brides and grooms can create their registry together at George’s! Couples design their own piece of solid wood furniture while creating their dream living space for their new home! George’s offers a variety of pieces and sets in various styles and stain colors.
Imagine a specially-designed piece of furniture!
When you inform the guests of your registry about George’s, they can call in or mail their gift and the gifts will be placed on your account. Come and create your own unique piece of furniture made your way!
At George’s Furniture, we believe in crafting handcrafted solid wood furniture that will stand the test of time. Please contact us to set up your registry.
Also, remember that registries are not to be limited to weddings! A new baby coming or a special anniversary? Contact George’s to set up a registry to bless the new arrival (think rocking chairs, dressers, and twin beds) or to celebrate landmark anniversary!