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Harden

The Harden name is known today as a premier brand for luxury furniture stores around the country. At its peak, Harden sold over 750 different furniture items, most being adaptations of period pieces, with influences from 18th-century Rhode Island cabinetmaker Samuel Goddard, Queen Anne style and classic English maker Thomas Chippendale. Over the years, Harden made items for the White House, Capitol building and the U.S. House and Senate chambers. The rich history of Harden Furniture stretches back to the mid-19th century. In 1844, Charles S. Harden returned to upstate New York after an adventurous trip out West to search for gold, setting up a sawmill on Fish Creek. His son Frank took an interest in the wood-based business, and the duo was soon building bridges in the summer and kitchen chairs in the winter. The furniture workshop proved more profitable than bridges, and by the late 1800s, they had expanded to parlor chairs, rockers and upholstered pieces. In the 1930s, Frank’s son Harry decided to switch the growing firm's production to native black cherry, instead of its previous mahogany, maple and birch. He focused on building fine, high-quality furniture at an advanced level of craft. Raised details and designs (such as a belle-fleur motif) instead of inlays were a notable characteristic of Harden furniture. No natural defects were permitted in the wood, and each piece went through an 18-step finishing process to protect it from blemishes and signs of wear. Sadly, after 174 years in business, Harden closed its doors for the last time in 2018. The company’s furniture is still highly sought after and can command high prices in today’s market.