JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY News Now) – A local furniture store is turning half a century old this month, celebrating not only its birthday but the milestones made by Jamestown furniture manufacturers along the way.
Lafayette Corners Furniture opened its doors on May 25th, 1973 and has grown and evolved to fit the needs of the time while still preserving the history that founded the store in the first place.
“Furniture is deeply rooted here. Back at the turn of the century, there were probably 50 different manufacturers here, we were one of the two largest wood-producing furniture meccas in the country, and this is where it all came from,” explained owner of Lafayette Corners, David Pelow. “50 years is a milestone, as we know, in a lot of different things and to be in business in downtown Jamestown for that period of time, it is meaningful. It’s meaningful to the city, it’s meaningful to us, and to the employees. Some of which who have been here that whole time.”
Pelow has been collecting furniture from the decades to display in the store as not only a conversation piece, but also a way to pay tribute to the roots of the story.
“It’s definitely unique, and what it does, it starts a conversation. Many, many of our customers that shop here at the store, we stand at the counter and talk about furniture because a lot of their relatives, parents, or themselves worked in the furniture industry years ago and so we’d have that conversation. This is a place I can bring them to, to continue that conversation and we feel that people are interested,” said Pelow.
The historical furniture exhibit will remain as long as there is an audience, Pelow explained.
“We encourage people to come on down and take a look and take advantage of some of the savings. As far as the exhibit goes, I’ll hang on to it until there is no more interest I guess. Then I’ll figure out what to do with it, some of it I drug up from the basement and I’d hate to take it back down so we’ll leave it here for a little while,” Pelow said.
In the end, the owner speaks his gratitude for his team at Lafayette Corner Furniture.
“It’s really been the staff here that has been instrumental in the 50 years, like I said, there’s some employees that have been here almost the whole time and they’re very well known. People come back to buy from them all the time. We’re very happy to have them,” said Pelow.
Jamestown has been known for decades its deep roots in the furniture manufacturing industry, and historical pieces made in the Pearl City can be found in Lafayette Corner Furniture’s museum.