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.
Does real wood furniture even exist anymore?
Meet Charles. He was seeking real wood furniture, an entertainment center, in fact, made of real wood that was high quality, not just a particle board & plywood piece. His search led him to many furniture stores & small businesses around Lancaster, York & Harrisburg. While our area includes many amazing small businesses (there is seriously so much to do here in Lancaster), Charles was having a hard time finding what he wanted. The majority of pieces he found lacked any hardwood elements. Instead he kept finding particle board & plywood pieces, the exact materials he wanted to avoid. If he was going to make a solid investment in his furniture, he wanted to know it would be durable, strong & resistant to warping or breakage.
Then Charles found George
While shopping at Meadow Brook Farmer’s Market in Leola, PA (which has since closed), Charles discovered George’s Woodcrafts storefront. After seeing our display of high quality, solid, hardwood furniture, he picked up a business card and called us. In fact, Charles came to visit our wood shop and showroom located near Maytown, PA, just a short drive from his home. At George’s, Anthony, one of our designers, greeted Charles and gave him a tour of the factory. Charles knew this was the place to get real wood furniture.
The Beauty of Real Wood Furniture Customized to You
Now, time to dive into the George’s Furniture process!
After discussing various dimensions and designs, Charles used his drafting ability to draw up detailed sketches of his entertainment center. Anthony took the sketches, verified the construction integrity and prepared an estimate for final approval by Charles.
Once Charles approved the final plans, one of our skilled craftsmen got to work! Each piece created by George’s Furniture is signed by the creator. You can actually see some signatures of our craftsman right here. Plus the beauty of custom wood furniture is that you, as the customer, can select the wood, stain & design you want. Charles loved the fact that he could choose 100% solid oak hardwood. Since all of the hardwood used at George’s Woodcrafts is native to PA, Charles knew he found the quality he was searching for.
Real Wood Furniture: no going back now
Truth be told, once Charles had that real hardwood entertainment center in his home, he knew he wouldn’t be satisfied with anything less than the George’s Furniture quality for all his future furniture purchases.
In fact, over the many years, Charles did indeed return to George’s to purchase many furniture pieces. Of course, each piece was custom designed & handcrafted according to his desires & specifications. (He is not the only customer who got hooked on George’s custom real wood furniture.) George Martin, our founder, even surprised Charles a time or two by making personal deliveries of the furniture.
Real Wood Furniture: high quality that lasts for years
The amazing thing about high quality real wood furniture is how long it lasts, and when you find the high quality craftsmen that we have at George’s, you just can’t help but bring every project to them. Thirteen years after Charles purchased the original entertainment center, he desired to add three doors to the front. He worked with Chris on the exact dimensions and stain color to match the original entertainment center. The new doors now complete the entertainment center, keeping dust out and components securely stored.
The ability to design and choose the details allowed Charles to create his dream living space. Furniture built with Pennsylvania solid hardwood, made in America and above all will last for decades: That is what we do at George’s Furniture. Order your own built-to-order, custom made to your specifications piece of George’s furniture. Start here with our guide to spotting high quality furniture. Then you can come and see right where your furniture is built or simply contact us.
Commitment to Quality
From the beginning, George’s Furniture is committed to create quality, hardwood furniture, crafted by a single craftsman and safely delivered to the customer’s home. As a child, I heard George lament over customers requests to cut costs by utilizing a commercial delivery service. As a result, the furniture arrived in poor condition. Nothing matches the quality of furniture delivered and assembled by individuals who understand its design.
A typical delivery includes transportation from George’s Furniture to the customer’s home. The cost per mile includes assistance of George’s delivery driver. The customer will provide at least one individual to help carry furniture into the home. Additional delivery personnel can be requested at an additional cost.
Affordable Safe Delivery by George’s Personnel
George’s Furniture groups deliveries, going to a similar region, together to help customers share delivery costs. While viewing one of George’s 15 passenger vans holding 4-5 separate orders headed for a region, one person commented, “That looks like a tight fitting puzzle.” Yes, each piece is blanket wrapped and packed with care. During difficult corner maneuvers, desks and other large pieces are placed on their sides, protected by thick furniture blankets and escorted to their desired location.
Up Elevators, Over Balconies
Over the past 45 years of delivering furniture, we have encountered challenging situations navigating around unique house layouts. Creativity, persistence and strong skills in spatial relations served us well, resulting in satisfied customers. One challenging occasion, an executive desk was delivered to a customer’s home. Although George’s Furniture is designed to fit through a standard 30” door, this door was narrower. The delivery/craftsman personnel quickly ascertained that the feet could unscrew from the desk and the base placed on its side to maneuver into the office. A few minutes later, the reassembled desk brought delight of another satisfied customer.
A customer living Manhattan purchased two hutches. The flexibility built into George’s Furniture paid off when the elevator servicing the multi-story building was small. George’s design allowed the hutch tops to be disassembled from the bases. Each of the four sections fit snugly into the elevator. After 4 trips up and down the elevator, all parts arrived safely to the apartment. George’s delivery man secured the screws between the Hutch’s top and bottom as the delighted customer viewed the new edition.
Flexible designs inspired
Building flexible designs is a work in progress. During the early 1970’s, George designed a king size poster canopy bed. Upon delivery to her home, it was discovered that the hallways were too small to maneuver the large bed into the bedroom. She was so taken by its design that she stated, “I’ll just keep the bed and build a bedroom around it.” Following this experience, George redesigned the structure, allowing the bed to be a designed in smaller sections without compromising the strength of the bed.
An Ounce of Prevention….Measure
George’s delivery personnel are creative, however they do not know the dimensions of your home. Please measure all hallways, rooms and stairways along the path to the desired destination. I recall stories of a desk or bed entering a house over a outside balcony because the custom piece would not fit through the interior hallways or up the steep narrow stair steps. Pieces can be designed with increased flexibility, but these details should be discussed during the design process. George’s Furniture designers work hard to take all aspects into consideration when working along side our customers, Contact us to begin the design of your next new piece of furniture.
Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Indiana are home to the largest Amish Communities in the United States. The Amish lifestyle consists of plain clothes, horse and buggy, no electricity, one-room schoolhouses, and farming. Over the years they developed a reputation for their quality quilts, furniture, baked goods, and produce. In fact, in 2015, about 8.34 million visitors to Lancaster County directly spent $1.97 billion, creating a total tourism impact of $2.64 billion in the county.
Over time, marketing replaced craftsmanship. While a few Amish craftsmen are still producing quality furniture, many stores market Amish furniture devoid of the quality buyers expect. As the perception of the quality Amish furniture increases, the natural result is an increase in demand. This increase brought new systems and processes which dropped the quality of the product. They compromised when materials such as cheaper stains, protective coatings, glue, or hardware. They left the old process of construction behind while newer methods of cheap assembly take over. These newer methods, which use assembly lines and computerized machines, compromise excellence for the convenience of efficiency. Consequently, the quality of hardwood furniture is lost along with the buyers ability to customize their product.
Furniture experts pinpoint pieces displaying true quality, handmade Amish furniture. The untrained eye, however, sees little or no distinction. While Amish craftsmen are talented, rarely is the resulting piece considered by furniture experts as constructed by a Master Craftsman. Why does this matter? Furniture crafted by a Master Craftsman ultimately become heirlooms.
Heirlooms are pieces constructed to withstand the test of time and passed down to the next generation. Furniture designed, crafted, and assembled by master craftsmen endure the normal wear and tear of daily life. While George’s craftsmen are not Amish furniture makers, we are Master Craftsmen. George’s master craftsmen build each piece to suit the needs of the buyer now and in the future. Forever cherished assets.
At George’s Furniture, one craftsman uniquely crafted each piece – signed and dated. 100% Pennsylvania hardwood construction—no plywood here! Each item is built-to-order, custom made to your specifications. Visit our showrooms and see the furniture manufacturing! Time-tested construction for over 50 years…that’s the George’s difference.
Here at George’s, we pride ourselves on our deep Lancaster County roots and having a craft that has been passed down through generations. We love when visitors stop in for a woodshop tour to learn more about us. Schedule your today!
Our tours offer a fun and informative experience that takes you through a guided tour of our woodshop and showrooms. Knowledgeable tour guides offer an in depth look at how George’s Furniture is handcrafted by one craftsman, one piece at a time.
While we would LOVE to meet each of you in person, we know that not all of you will be able to stop in for a tour. If you are unable to stop by, we encourage you to visit our website and view our videos detailing a previous tour we provided for PNC Tours!
Our tour hours are Monday through Thursday from 9 am to 4 pm, and Friday from 9 am – 2 pm.