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Industry & Trends

Before There Was High Point, There Was Jamestown, NY

A furniture dealer in this western New York state city is celebrating the history of when Jamestown was the furniture capital of the world.

For the furniture industry, it’s sometimes hard to believe that there was anything before High Point, NC as the capital of the industry. But indeed there was, and prior to the city taking its position atop the industry other cities like Grand Rapids, MI and Jamestown, NY were major hubs for the business.

So when Lafayette Corners Furniture in Jamestown marked its 50th anniversary it also decided to honor the town’s role in furniture, back to the days when it had some 50 wood furniture manufacturers and even its own twice-yearly market week.

Owner Dave Pelow has set up a historic exhibit in his store, showcasing vintage furniture he purchased mostly online and produced in many of the town’s long-gone factories. He told the industry publication Furniture Today that “I had some pieces shipped from other parts of the country. They were unique, untouched pieces. We got some nice pieces from Jamestown Royal, Jamestown Lounge. The Jamestown Lounge pieces belonged to my parents. It was one of the great manufacturers here in this area.”

The exhibit complements signage and other memorabilia housed in the town’s historic center, providing locals and visitors alike a stroll down memory lane. And that stroll will be ongoing, he says, as he expects to keep the display up for some time to come. “I don’t have a timeline for it. I said it would be here until people aren’t interested anymore. It’s really for the community to admire.”

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