With its narrow, winding streets and the historic architecture of its buildings downtown, it's easy to imagine the horses and buggies that used to drive through here and earlier generations of
What may not be as obvious is the fact that, at one time,
For those who enjoy local history, or anyone who can appreciate antique furniture, the
From the furniture itself, to the history behind some well-known manufacturers, to the tools they used to produce furniture that has lasted for several centuries, the exhibit displays the town's rich furniture-building history while also showing that the furniture is still being made here.
"A lot of that furniture was in
Several of Dodge's original furniture plans and sketches are on display, and a few of the pieces in the exhibit are remakes of original Dodge designs.
"They specialized in making really beautiful reproductions of Colonial furniture," Huss said.
A large market for
One of the featured items, a nearly ceiling-high cabinet made in the 19th century, was supposed to be shipped to a plantation owner in
After the war, and with the nation reunited, Huss said furniture making began to thrive in other areas of the country, particularly the central U.S. With that, the industry faded in
Huss said that before the Civil War, downtown Manchester streets were lined with 43 furniture manufacturers. After the war, there were only five or six left.
But furniture making hasn't left
Two pieces, one from each modern manufacturer, are also on display at the museum.
For those interested in visiting the exhibit, the museum is open Tuesday through Friday from
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