For our 2nd experience adventure in our attempt to complete 100 while in the great state of Pennsylvania, the girls and I visited George’s Furniture in Lancaster County. Just like most activities, I found information about George’s by accident, while conducting one of my all-consuming Google searches of things to do in Pennsylvania…and oh, what a happy, happy accident!
George’s Furniture is a second-generation and family-owned business located in Marietta, Pennsylvania. Though George Martin founded the business in 1970, he unfortunately passed away several years ago and now his oldest daughter and her husband lead the company of talented craftsmen.
My daughters and I drove about an hour from Carlisle–in questionable winter weather–to tour and see this magical workshop–and it was worth it! I love nothing more than learning about people turning a passion and talent into a business that provides other humans with handcrafted, one-of-a-kind treasures!
Located on a picture-perfect farm, outside of the historic village of Maytown, the showroom, museum and workshop offer free guided tours Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (according to the brochure). The sign near the front door offers tours on Saturday and until 5:00 p.m. I would go with the brochure to be safe or just call ahead.
All furniture and pieces created by George’s craftsmen are made the old fashioned way and thoughtfully built to last for generations to come. They work with kiln-dried hardwoods like oak, cherry, walnut and hard maple. Almost all wood is acquired from local, in-state suppliers and sometimes customers even provide raw materials for custom pieces.
Our guide, Anthony, started working for Mr. Martin in the 1980’s, and most of the artisans have been there for 20+ years. Each piece of furniture is made by hand–and each piece is made by only ONE person!
**Fun Fact: The artist always signs the finished creation. So AWESOME!
Particleboard and veneers are NEVER used. Drawer bottoms and cabinet backs are all solid wood and quite honestly, even more beautiful than some of the exteriors!
Hardware, inserts, braces, and bars are meticulously added and used to strengthen pieces, such as dining room table leafs.
George’s Furniture workshop is clean and organized and smells delicious–a cozy combination of wild, winter forest trees, crackling campfire, and an old-school wood burning kit. I was in heaven and could have stayed in the workshop for hours.
Anthony walked us through the workshop, pointing out different pieces of furniture actively being made by two craftsmen. He showed my daugthers several machines: a few saws, a large sander and a lathe. No computers here! Spindles, legs and finials are calibrated and carved by hand.
**Fun Fact: Furniture from George’s is NOT sold in any stores! They only sell directly to the customer.
The tour taught us about the process of making furniture and how George’s craftsmen take extra steps to create heirloom-quality pieces. They build dining room tables and chairs, desks, rocking chairs, coffee and end tables, hutches, mirrors, night stands, beds and dressers, buffets, jewelry boxes, bookcases and so much more! Every single item is handcrafted in solid hardwood. Everything is VERY heavy!
**Fun Fact: George Martin created a rocking chair design that cannot fall backwards. For real–I tried it! The chair was also the smoothest rocker I have ever sat in or touched. This style rocker is still being made by his craftsmen.
The tour also includes time in the showroom, which is full of finished pieces, and a walk-through, museum-like area displaying a timeline of the company and some of George’s first creations.
If you find yourself in Lancaster County, I highly recommend a stop at George’s Furniture.
George’s Furniture is located at 9 Reichs Church Road, Marietta, PA, 17547. For more information, visit www.georgesfurniturepa.com or call 1-800-799-1685.
The tour is FREE, with a very small suggested donation.
PS–If you are Anthony (our tour guide) thank you for helping me with my car–and for not laughing too hard. 🙂
Wondering why my daughters and I are in Pennsylvania? Read all about our 6 month sabbatical here!
Check out what we did for the 1st of our 100 adventure experiences here!