Family member would like Boring Furniture Co. of North York, Pa., to be remembered

Employees and owners of the Boring Furniture Co., Laurel and Court streets, North York, pose for he photographer. The table-maker has long been out of business but a family member is hoping that its work is long remembered. Also of interest: These antiques bear the York, Pa.-made Pennsylvania Furniture Co. label and Red Lion’s Ebert Furniture: From bedroom suites to gunstocks.

“Little did Henry E. Boring think while fashioning a table in is mother’s kitchen more than 50 years ago that he and his brother would some day have their own furniture plant.”

That is how a newspaper article in 1949 (see below) described the origin of the Boring Furniture Co., one of many York County furniture makers that started operating in and around the turn of the 20th century.

At the time the article appeared, the company appeared to specialize in parlor tables.

Family member Sarann Boring wrote Gordon Freireich after his York Sunday News column on the array of furniture makers hailing from York County appeared.

Let’s just say that Boring Furniture Co. and furniture-makers around York County were not involved in a boring industry.

Judging by the large number of furniture-makers, that widespread craft was a tribute to those who worked with their hands and the transportation system that brought their work to ready markets. And judging by the interest stories on these woodworkers receive on this blog, people are still benefiting from their handiwork.

Sarann’s short note covered a lot of history:

“I am attaching an article I found at the Historical Society (York County Heritage Trust) years ago, a photo of one of my favorite Uncle’s Clair E. Boring, home on leave, standing on the steps of the factory. The Boring Furniture Co. sign you can see is over the top of the door, a photo of my Grandfather George W. Boring, his brother Henry Boring and two office workers, Bob Walker & Russell Wilson. I am also sending a photo of a couple of tables they made although they made many different types. I understand they were some of the best made around this area.

“The building is still standing & looks as bad as it did in my childhood, I am 72 yrs. old. I have no idea who owns the building now, my father sold the business a couple of years after his last brother died in the 70′s as he was not well himself. He died on June 10, 1975 at age 60. The person that bought it I heard sold it to someone else, then they went out of business so Boring Furniture Co. is no more. I often wished my three brothers would have taken an interest in the business but didn’t.

“I had been trying to donate a few Boring tables & photos to the Heritage Trust that I have here at home but due to a serious illiness I had most of last year did not get around to calling them again. I would like the Boring Furniture Co. to be remembered. I hope you find this interesting and thank you for putting them in your article. This brought back a lot of good memories about the times I went along to the factory on a Saturday with my father.”

Also of interest

A sampling of other furniture-makers mentioned in Gordon Freireich’s column:

Pennsylvania Furniture Company at Sumner Street and the Pennyslvania Railroad in West York.; George A. Swartz, 719 E. Philadelphia St.; Dallastown Furniture Company, South Park Street and the Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad; Keystone Table Company, End of 3rd Street, Mount Wolf; Mt. Wolf Furniture, Railroad near Center.; Ebert Furniture Company, North Franklin Street and the Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad in Red Lion.; Red Lion Cabinet Company, South Main Street and the Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad; Red Lion Furniture Company, East Broadway and the Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad; Red Lion Table Company, North Franklin and the Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad. (The same location as Ebert Furniture Company).

Also
If anyone has Boring Furniture in their home or would like to correspond with Sarann, comment below or email me,jem@ydr.com.

About Jim McClure

Editor of the York Daily Record/Sunday News, ydr.com and its many digital products. East Region Editor, Digital First Media. Journalism/history blogger: yorktownsquare.com. Author or co-author of seven York County, Pa., history books.
This entry was posted in Archives, all posts, Explanations/controversy, For photo fans, Genealogy/research, Local journalism & Web, Made in York, Mail bag, Nostalgia & memories, People and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Family member would like Boring Furniture Co. of North York, Pa., to be remembered

  1. Karen says:

    I was just at an estate sale yesterday (5/5/12) & purchased 2 exquisite little pedestal leg, drop-leaf end tables. They each have a drawer in front. And, when my sister-in-law and I were hunting for a maker’s label, we found it when we removed the drawer. We found the label on the underside of the table. It said Boring Furniture Company of York.

    I had never heard of this manufacturer even though I’m fairly local (I’m a Lancaster County native). My google search produced this article & very little else.

    I’ve always had an interest in beautiful vintage & antique furniture. I’ve recently started trying to turn my passion into a sort of home-based business. My goal has been to hunt down beautiful pieces & then either refinish them or find loving homes for them as is.

    These particular tables definitely show wear. They have scratches, bare patches in the finish, watermarks. But, in my mind that just shows how much they’ve been loved!

    I had listed these tables on Craigslist & already have 2 interested buyers. But, after reading this article I’m almost sad to let them go. Now I’m not sure if I want to hold on to them a little longer.

    • Jim McClure says:

      Karen, there are still members of the Boring family alive today; makes what you have all the more personal. Thanks for sharing, Jim

    • gretchen says:

      Hi Karen!
      It means so much more to us I think being a native of the area and maybe the story of the business will help you keep it for a bit. Pass it along with the history behind your find if you decide you sell, that’s what we all love is where it came from
      Gretchen

  2. Phyllis Parisi says:

    I just purchased a mahogeny (I think) corner table at an auction and noticed a label adhered inside one of the two drawers saying Boring Table, York, PA. I’m wondering if it is one produced by the Boring Family Furniture Co. and what would be the approximate age. I plan to clean it up and keep it for myself in my dining/living room for all to enjoy. I’d be happy to send you a photo of it. Thank you.

    • Jim McClure says:

      Phyllis, please send in your photo; I’ll be glad to put it on this blog. There certainly is a lot of interest in York County-made furniture from around the world./Jim

  3. gretchen says:

    My mother and siblings were raised on Arlington St, York and am familiar with the name Boring. I am 40 yrs old and my only recollection of Boring is the dealership on West Market. I surely missed seeing the furniture company, although I will ask my Aunts and Uncles about it! More to follow I hope

  4. Gloria says:

    My daughter just purchased a wooden table with Boring on it. Its a pedestal table and the top opens and turn clockwise to reveal a hidden area. It may have been a game table.

    What are your thoughts?

    Unfortunately, I cannot find anything on Boring Furniture on the internet.

    Gloria

  5. Michele says:

    I found a lovely little side table on the side of the road which I could not bear to see destroyed. The top was loose and the wood was worn. While refurbishing, we noticed the Boring Furniture Co. label, which led me to this article. I am so happy to know that I have a timeless and beautiful piece of furniture that was created locally by this family. Boring Furniture Co will indeed be remembered.

  6. Rudi Hamet says:

    Hello, I am writing to you about a game table that has been in my family for about 100 years. I would love to know,what it is worth. It was made by the Boring furniture company and it is very unique. Please let me know what help you can provide. I would greatly appreciate it.

    Thank you so much.

  7. Lisa Cherefko says:

    Hello! I was pleased to see this write up. My parents had a little drum table that sat in our living room for as long as I can remember. After they passed, the table, in pretty rough shape, came to me.

    The table has been sitting in my attic for some. I just pulled it down with the intention of painting it. After pulling it apart to clean it, I found the Boring Furniture company label on the table base as well as a label from Hoplins Furniture in Alexandria, VA.

    On the bottom of the table is a signature that, as best I can tell, reads Willie McLaurin Jr. along with what I think is a series number of 223/174. The name is unfamiliar to me and I wondered if it might be the signature of the person who made or assembled the table?

    I’d love to learn more about my little table and have several pictures of it, the label and signature I would be happy to share.

    Thank you!

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