Recently Carl and Chris Geeseman returned to our showroom after three decades of enjoying the furniture built by George. Like so many of our customers, they wanted to share the memories of George. The memories started back in the 1970’s. Carl worked for Highspire lumber yard. Lumber yard typically cut the trees in the forest and transport them to a sawmill. They are looking for straight long trees. A good veneer log needs to be clear of bark, metal, knots, and blemishes.
Metal is a big concern for logs that come from a residential area where metal hardware, bullets or even a forgotten metal screwdriver, hammer or animal trap discarded in the fork of a tree. Each year the tree grows a metal object will become embedded into the wood and unable to be withdrawn. The metal object will leave a scar and their minerals will seep into the wood. Not only does metal scar the wood it destroys.
Scars and destroys
Along comes a saw blade, cuts through the metal, or goes around the hook and the expensive blade loses its teeth or even destroyed. Metal can shut down a sawmill resulting a loss of time and money. Bandsaw blades are 12 feet long and 1 ft wide. They are razor thin and thousands of dollars. Lumber jacks look at the outside bark for marks or scars that shows healing from metal objects or use metal detectors to find metal. Think twice before hooking a wash line, swing, or sign to a tree. They are alive and growing.
George’s treasure pile
Highspire lumber piled their cut offs like bark, knots, rotten wood etc. aside and sold the straight boards to their customers. George loved to come and rummage through the cut off pile looking for unique knots, grain twists, chain saw wedges, rotten tree butts and odd shaped pieces of wood for his next project. Walnut and cherry were his favorite. Some cross cuts turned into coffee tables, end tables, Lamp bases, or even crosscut critters (a crosscut with a hole in the middle from where the hollow tree healed itself.)
Filling the House
Carl and Chris Geeseman started their furniture collection in 1980’s with a table set, dry sink and hutch. Next a bedroom set. Later as the family grew it was time for the kids’ room, a single bed, dresser and child’s play table and chairs. Then another bed, chest of drawers and nightstands. Next it was dad’s turn with a nice rolltop desk with finished back and swivel desk chair. As the family grew so did the table. Time to order more table leaves.
During family get togethers Carl and his brother would haul their table leaves to the other’s house. Since both brothers had tables from George’s, the table leaves fit together nicely. A curious situation happened. I discovered a leaf storage box with two different colored table leaves in our shop. The two brothers completed their 8-leaf table set by ordering 4 leaves each. Now the hassle of loading up the table leaves in the car was no longer needed. All 29 people crowd around the table and enjoy the comfort of family. A fun game the Geeseman children play is lining up the little child’s chairs and playing school bus.
Sharing the quality
That is not all the furniture in the Geeseman household. 2 high chairs served the growing family. Chris said that their kids sat in the high chairs so long until they no longer fit in between the arms. Chris stopped using the high chairs when she got tired explaining to the kid’s friends why the kids still sat in high chairs. The high chairs have endured 3 kids, and 5 grandchildren. Other items like rocking chairs (child and adult), quilt rack, cradle, Jewelry box, benches and round end table found their way into the home. There is room for more. Maybe a new bed.
Explore, Watch and Design
Join the Geeseman family and many customers over the 50+ years in their experience with Georges fine craftsmen and quality handcrafted furniture. Everyone worked with our designers to create the perfect piece that meets every need and endures hard use of family and friends. Begin creating your unique living space, designed, and built right in Lancaster County, PA. Explore ideas on our website, watch the wood shop in action (YouTube) and see what possibilities await discovery.
In the mean time, we have created this handy checklist on how to spot high-quality furniture. Down the checklist here so you know what to avoid in your furniture shopping. An informed mind will bring great results.
Download your Guide to High-Quality Furniture
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.
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.
A Calamitous Night
George’s Woodcrafts had just turned 20 years old. George Martin’s efforts had grown a custom, solid wood furniture-making business that employed about 8 full-time craftsman. George and his family had retired for the night on April 28, 1989. Suddenly, the dog started barking and someone began pounding on the door, frantically ringing the doorbell. George bolted for the window and then yelled, “The woodshop is on fire!” “Call the fire department!” “Get the vehicles out!”
Many fire departments responded to the fire. The firemen called it an “all-nighter”. Obviously, the wood shop contained a lot of fuel for the fire. The firemen were able to save some wood stored in the lower level of the barn as well as the wood piles stored outside but the rest was a total loss—machinery, patterns, lumber in the barn, and finished furniture in the storage area waiting to be delivered to customers.
During the fire, I (Ava Lee) went to find George. He was sitting on an upside down bucket between the lumber yard and the burning barn. He looked at me and said, “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord”, a quote from Job in the Bible.
Over the next two days, neighborhood farmers and men from churches in the area came with machines and chain saws to help clean up the ruins. Women brought food to feed the hungry workers. The Brotherly Aid Insurance Company came immediately to assess the damage and quickly gave approval to release funds allowing the rebuilding process to begin within days of the fire.
A Craftsman Turns General Contractor
Following the lead of one of our craftsman, an experienced builder, our entire team of craftsmen became carpenters as they helped to build a new woodshop where the old woodshop once stood. No one was injured in the fire or during reconstruction process. The new roof rafters were set on a drizzly day in May,1989, a month that held a record-breaking 10 inches of rain. Within 3 months of the fire, one wing of the woodshop was built and we were back to crafting solid wood furniture! Our craftsman rebuilt the furniture that was lost in the fire, while work continued on the rebuilding the rest of the shop.
A New Shop Brings Efficiency, a New Kiln, a Showroom, and More!
George often said, “I was happy with the shop in the dairy barn. When God took away that one, He must have wanted me to have a new one.” The new one is more efficient, and more conducive to giving shop tours. The new shop includes room for a showroom and a wood-drying kiln on the first level.
We’d love for you to stop in! Come by and check out our shop and view our gorgeous solid wood, handcrafted furniture!
Does Buying American-made Products Really Matter?
According to Consumer Reports, 8 in 10 American consumers say they would rather buy an American-made product than an imported one. Additionally, more than 60 percent say they’re even willing to pay 10 percent more for it.
On top of that, many consumers are aware that buying American-made items supports the economy. In fact, American perception of the Made in America label speaks of American quality, American creativity, American excellence, and high standards in American manufacturing . This means that Americans are producing a superior product and ensuring the health and safety of the laborer. Durable products, job creation, low environmental impact, and economic benefits are all encased in those three words, Made in America.
Made In America Event in June!
This month, the York County Convention & Visitors Bureau will host its annual “Made In America” event. The event will run from June 12-15 and showcases local businesses. Each business will show you how it’s made using educational demonstrations and interactive presentations. Additionally, you’ll get to meet the makers themselves! There are 42 locations participating this year. George’s Furniture is one of them! Before you go, you’ll want to visit the Made In America event website to view the Schedule of Events. The schedule will help you to make it to all of your favorite destinations! Don’t forget to download your own copy of the 2019 passport. If you return your passport to the York County Convention & Visitors Bureau with 5 or more stamps, you’ll be entered to win awesome prizes!
So, be sure to stop in at George’s Furniture while you are out on your tour! We open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, June 12, and Thursday, June 13. Additionally, we are open Friday, June 14, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Made In America. These three powerful words can make a huge difference! At George’s, we believe these words are the difference between heirloom furniture and furniture that falls apart. In short, George’s Furniture holds timeless quality. You are getting everything the words Made In America stand for: excellence, quality, integrity, and superior, lifetime-guaranteed furniture.