Vermont Made Furniture: A History

Last updated on March 16th, 2020 at 07:30 am

History of Vermont Made Furniture
The American Shaker Bedroom Furniture Set is handmade here in Vermont using the same timeless Shaker styling and craftsmanship that Vermont’s been famous for over 250 years.  Learn more about the History of Vermont Made Furniture in our encyclopedia.

250 Years of Woodworking and Furniture Making in Vermont

Last year we had so much interest from customers about the history of Vermont made furniture, we started an encyclopedia of sorts.  Did you know that Vermont furniture making history can be traced back to the 17th century?  And by the 18th century almost every town in Vermont had woodworkers making furniture, tools and utensils.

Wood products became the single most important manufacturing industry in Vermont during the 19th century.  It was then that Vermont made furniture and wood products began their long history of export to customers all over the U.S. and abroad.  Wood furniture, wooden cutting boards and bowls, bowling pins, baskets, drumsticks, toys, musical instruments, golf tees, cheese boxes, wooden dolls, gun racks, Scrabble tiles, snowshoes, clothes pins, and wooden shipping boxes were (and continue to be) all products of a thriving Vermont woodworking industry.

Forest To Furniture

Perhaps the biggest contributor to a growing fine furniture industry was the Green Mountain Forest which covered 90% of Vermont in the 1760s.  In the 1700s Vermont contained extensive forests of various tree species that were 6 feet in diameter and as high as thirteen-story buildings; some more than 300 years old.  Wood created an identity for many Vermont towns that became known for logging, lumber mills, and a continuous succession of wood products manufacturers.

Woodworking Built Many Vermont Communities

In some towns, the Vermont made furniture and wood industries provided income for the majority of the population. Technology and products changed with the times to increase production and efficiency, meet market demand, and capitalize on popular trends and tastes. Owners of the mills and factories became community leaders who took responsibility for the commercial and civic growth of their towns.

Notable Vermont Woodworkers and Furniture Makers

Craftsmen hailing from Wilmington, Norwich, Middlebury, Shaftsbury, Rutland, Charlotte, Putney and Bennington were among the master craftsmen of 18th and 19th century Vermont.  Some prominent luxury, custom furniture makers of the time include:   George Stedman of Norwich, Vermont, c. 1800-20,  Asahel (b. 1759) and Martin (1778-c. 1830) Cheney of Putney, Vermont, 1798-1803, Hastings Warren (1779-1845), of Middlebury, Vermont and Levi Pitkin (1774-1854) of Montpelier, Vermont, c. 1800.  Their work adorned the homes and offices of the world’s rich and famous.

H.T. Cushman Furniture in North Bennington, VT was one of the most prominent furniture companies in America, opening their colonial furniture business in 1892 and exporting from Vermont to the rest of the United States and overseas. Vermont Tubbs and Manchester Wood were two other companies that led the furniture making industry in Vermont towards the ecosystem of talented craftsmen that it is now.

Where To View or Purchase Vermont Antique Furniture

Antique dealers throughout the Green Mountain State display relics of the early Vermont furniture industry.  The Shelburne Museum, Bennington Museum and Skinner Auctioneers have recently showcased Vermont made furniture collections and pieces from the 18th and 19th centuries.   Check out the Vermont Wood Manufacturer’s Association website for further information about the history of woodworking in Vermont.

Have information or stories to add to our Vermont Furniture Encyclopedia?  Send comments in the section below or post on our Facebook page.  We’ll update the encyclopedia with your input.


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This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Peggy Farabaugh

She is a CEO who brakes for salamanders, has bottle-fed rescued squirrels and spent her vacation building furniture for a rural school in Costa Rica. She believes in the future and in the people who will build it. A former distance-learning professor at Tulane University with a master’s in environmental health & safety, she turned an interest in forest conservation and endangered species into a growing, local business. She delivers rainforest statistics at breakneck speed, but knows how to slow down and appreciate the beauty of a newly finished piece of heirloom furniture.

4 thoughts to “Vermont Made Furniture: A History”

  1. Hi Tom,
    I googled “bennington pine” furniture 76 and found this
    What a beautiful logo! Not sure what happened to the company or when it went out of biz.
    You might contact the folks at the Bennington Museum for additional info.
    I remember they had a Vermont furniture exhibit a few hears ago.
    Bet they could shine some light on Bennington Pine.
    Thanks for sharing this! Always love to hear from fellow VT furniture fans.

  2. our 1st bedroom set was Bennington Pine ( flag with 76 burned in as a trademark) I can’t seem to find any information about this company it’s as if they never existed.

  3. Hi Timothy! Sounds like your grandfather’s furniture was made by Ethan Allen in Beecher Falls, VT. Sadly, Ethan Allen has moved much of their manufacturing overseas and the Beecher Falls facility was closed in 2009.

  4. Hi Peggy,

    My wife’s grandfather just passed at 101 and all of his furniture was in excellent condition. One set has a stamp in the drawers that I can barely make out. It say made in Vermont with the maple leaf and the only words I can make out are “Falls, Vermont and part of a name…”ansen. Maybe it said Ha den or Johansson. I have no idea. Trying to determine the maker. Any clue?

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