Born and raised in Boston, it took me until my late 30's to learn of the long history of furniture making that Gardner possesses. Unfortunately, it seems with respect to furniture making, its best days are behind it, even though it clings to the title of "Furniture Capital of New England". Producing quality furniture since the early 1800's, beginning in the 1980's, many factories relocated to the southern states to save money on wages and utilities, and more recently, several more have gone under due to foreign competition. Even though I was late to the party, one sunny April morning I decided to make the one hour trip to Gardner to see what remained. What I saw saddened me - the wrecking ball had definitely arrived. Large swaths of land previously occupied by factories were now grass and rubble. Downtown, many storefronts were empty, for sale or lease, and stores like the Price Chopper and the thrift store seemed to be doing swift business. I could only imagine a time when the town was filled with the sounds of skilled craftsmen creating heirloom quality furniture. When the whistle of the train meant fresh lumber arriving or finished furniture departing. Those train tracks are now abandoned. The very few furniture stores that remain in town manufacture their furniture elsewhere - who knows where. Then I visited Chair City Wayside Furniture. Set in a four story stone building with windows aplenty and a larger than life ladder-back chair outside, I walked inside to find a man of advanced years cheerfully welcoming me to his store. Lenny Curcio walked me through all four floors of his excellent building. He told me about the history of Gardner and how it was difficult to remain in operation in the current environment. He explained how they made their chairs in the building right next door. In short, it was a great experience, and I walked out with one of his quality chairs to grace my home. My recommendation - make the drive to Gardner, stop into Chair City Wayside, say hello to Lenny, and buy a chair that will make an excellent conversation piece in your home. Or buy several, if you can. When the time comes, pass your purchase down to your children. I know times are hard, and that tastes change. I know it is easy to visit stores like IKEA, to save a little money, and to buy furniture that may last for a little while and fill a need. But I urge you to support the last vestige of local furniture craftsmanship in this town, and in doing so, support America. Lenny, I hope to be back soon to buy more.
78 Orchard Hill Park Drive Orchard Hill ParkLeominster, MA 01453
From Business: Sleepy's is the most trusted name in mattresses with more than 800 stores nationwide and a highly-trained staff of Mattress Professionals. Let us help you find the …
30. Pier 1 Imports
15 Water Tower Plaza 289 North Main StreetLeominster, MA 01453
From Business: Shop the Leominster, MA Pier 1 Imports store for the latest styles in home decorating & decor. From the living room to the kitchen and even the great outdoors Pier …
We have several ladderback chairs from Chaircitywayside Furniture Company and have been very happy with them for over 19 years. They look just like the day we got them. They are very sturdy and have held up extremely well. We also have a couple Shaker style bar stools for our kitchen. We use them everday and have had them for about 10 years. We have a couple footstools in different sizes that travel around the house to sit on with kids, play games, extra seating. You are buying directly from the factory and they specialize in solid wood ladder back chairs and barstools. I would definitely recommend them to a friend. Beautiful and quality chairs. I would order again but I don't need to - such good quality and a fair price. I also love that they are made in the USA.