Updated 05/30/2012 06:23 PM
Company builds on past for future success
Harden Furniture got its start as a sawmill along Fish Creek in McConnellsville 168 years ago. Today, owners say it's the oldest furniture manufacturer in North America. Sarah Blazonis has more on the company and the famous homes of some of its creations.
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MCCONNELLSVILLE, N.Y. -- Gregory Harden says the secret of his family company's 168 years of success is simple.
"We've got a lot of very talented people. We can do some woodworking and some craftsmanship that other people just can't do," said Harden, president and CEO of Harden Furniture.
He's the fifth generation of the Harden family to run the company.
Harden Furniture still sits at the spot along Fish Creek where the family's saw mill operated in the 1840s.
Congressman Richard Hanna visited the factory Wednesday to talk about challenges facing small businesses today.
"When times are tough, I think that industries that provide the basics to households probably suffer first," said Rep. Hanna.
While Gregory Harden says the recession has presented challenges, the company is going strong. Its nearly 300 workers make pieces that can be found anywhere from local homes to some of the nation's most famous buildings. Harden furniture can be found in the Capitol Building in Washington and the White House.
Up next for the company: A modernization that it says will help it compete with companies the world over.
"With the installation of what is some of the most modern and advanced woodworking equipment in the world today, we will be leaders in technology," said Harden.
And keep the company's product in homes for generations to come.