Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | July 21, 2015

Cornwall Photographs of the Week. Cornwall Furniture Company.



This series of rare cyanoprints was just donated to the museum by Chuck O’Brien of Cornwall.

The 1906 Cornwall “Old Boys’ Reunion” says this about the company:

Established in 1902, the Cornwall Furniture Company has been a success from the start and is now of the leading industries of the town.

The buildings are of brick, covering a considerable area, and the capacity of the works has been nearly doubled in four years.  The goods manufactured are principally bedroom and dining-room furniture, tables being a specialty.

At first the Company made principally medium grades of furniture, in which they were most successful, but of late they have turned out some beautiful specimens of Mission and Weathered Oak Furniture, which is now so fashionable, and the elegance of design and excellent workmanship of the Cornwall ware has brought it into immediate favor with the trade and the public.scan0010

The spur line from the nearby railway station to the factory.

The factory is equipped with the most modern machinery and new appliances are constantly being added.  It is situated at the head of Sidney Street, adjoining the Grand Trunk Station, from which a siding runs into the premises, all goods being loaded under cover.  It is very convenient for shipping and goods can be forwarded by the GTR., New York Central Railway and CPR and by water during the season of navigation.scan0016


Interior views of the factory and the hands.

The peculiar advantages of Cornwall as a shipping point have attracted the special attention of furniture men, and there are now in course of erection here a chair factory and a factory for the manufacture of brass and iron beds, springs and mattresses, both of which it is expected, will be in full operation by the New Year.  This will enable carloads of furniture to be shipped, which will be of decided benefit to all three.  In the near future Cornwall will be one of the foremost furniture manufacturing points in the Dominion.scan0019

There are at present about 80 hands on the payroll, whose wages aggregate over $30,000 per annum, and besides this an equal amount is paid out in the immediate neighborhood for raw material.


The company declared bankruptcy and the business was purchased by “Charlie” A. Beach in 1908.scan0021

Blotter adverting the cedar lined, linen Beachest.scan0023



Beach0003Doug Miller and Louis Samson in the machine room of the old Cornwall Furniture Company, operating under the name of Beach Furniture when this photograph was taken in 1948.

1926 OBR_Beach Furniture

The above Beach ad is from 1926. Note the offices added to the n.w. corner of the building; they are evident in the 1923 Fire Insurance Plan, as well.

The Beach Family operated the business until 1958.  The 843 Sydney Street (51 Sydney Street prior to the renumbering) facility then operated as Cornwall Storage and Warehousing Co Ltd and the home of various businesses, including a printer and Sovereign Seat Covers, but was torn down in 1988 to make way for Tudor Centre, an L-shaped strip mall.

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Cornwall Industry

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In The Wood House at the waterfront, Cornwall, Ontario, Canada

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