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Community Treasure series to discuss furniture manufacturing

By HANNAH GUNNELL - hgunnell@shelbynews.com

The seventh installment of the Grover Museum’s Community Treasure Series, a discussion of Shelbyville’s history of “Furniture Manufacturing,” will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Strand Theatre in downtown Shelbyville.

Grover Museum director Alex Krach and Shelby County Historical Society member Vince Bradburn will discuss Shelby County furniture companies by breaking them up into different time periods.

“Shelbyville was pretty well known for its furniture manufacturing industry at the turn of the century,” Krach said. “Shelbyville was second only to Grand Rapids and so we will be talking about furniture factories and breaking it up into different time periods.”

Krach said the presentation will discuss how the furniture industry was affected by the Spanish American War (1892), the pre-depression era (circa 1928), and post World War II (1945) time periods.

Some of the companies they will discuss include Conrey Birely Furniture Company, Spiegal Furniture Company, Shelbyville Desk Company, Blanchard-Hamilton Furniture Company, and Old Hickory Furniture Company.

“We will be touching on the history of what was going on in the nation, what was going on historically and tie it into what was going on in Shelbyville,” Krach said.

Bradburn is a long-time Shelby County Historical Society member and a Shelbyville High School history teacher. Krach said he asked Bradburn to help give this presentation because Bradburn “has an exceptional ability to tell a story.”

The Community Treasure Series is a free series the Grover Museum hosts monthly to preserve the history of Shelby County. The audience is encouraged to participate in the event by asking questions and sharing their experiences.

“The reason we’re doing this isn’t just to give a presentation on what we know but also to gather information from our community that we don’t know,” Krach said. “We use this series as a platform to gather these stories and preserve them for further use.”