Approaching Memorial Day Weekend

In uniform between tours of Korea, Manchester Wood's founder Cliff Pierce, his wife Evelyn, and their son, Cliff Jr.
In uniform leaving for Korea, Manchester Wood’s founder Cliff Pierce, his wife Evelyn, and their son, Cliff Jr.

Next Monday, May 27th is Memorial Day- a very special day for many Americans. This coming weekend leading in is one typically of celebration, shopping deals, and the bustling spirit of a summer kicked-off under hopefully sunny clear skies. Aside from the coming festivities, we wanted to take a moment beforehand to honor and pay tribute to all the veterans of the armed forces that brought upon such a celebration.

Cliff just before recieving two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star. He was wounded; bandaged; wounded again, and returned to base saving his unit awarding him the Bronze Star.
Cliff in Korea 1953

Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. As we entered the 20th century Memorial Day became extended to honor all Americans who have died while in military service.

At Manchester Wood several of our employees have served, and fortunately are still here today proudly crafting our solid wood furniture made in the USA. Our company’s founder Cliff Pierce enlisted in the Army and served in Korea in the US Armored Artillery from 1951-53 as 1st Lieutenant after graduating from Officer Training School. He received two Purple Hearts and was awarded a Bronze Star for meritorious achievement in ground operations against the enemy. He was Honorably discharged in 1953; soon after he began his career in American furniture manufacturing, which would later create “the mill” and the Manchester Wood we know today.

To all our servicemen and woman, and especially to those we’ve lost in military service, past and present, we humbly thank you. And as Cliff always said, “God bless you.”


Organic Food & American Furniture Manufacturing

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At Manchester Wood we stand behind 3 Principles – Value, Honesty, and Community – and today we celebrate those three core ingredients in our family-operated business by announcing a partnership with another like-minded family-run business in quality and value, the Kilpatrick Family Farm.

Although we are an American furniture manufacturer by trade, this partnership is outside the activities taking place inside the mill, and instead applies to 10 of the surrounding 23-acres we inhabit, here, in the Adirondack foothills of upstate New York. We have plenty of land, most of which in the past has been rented out to farmers for corn. But we’ve decided this year to instead have the local organic Kilpatrick Family Farm transform it into organic soil. They will work the fields to grow and raise all sorts of organic produce on our behalf. As a furniture manufacturer and soon-to-be organic food provider for our employees, we more deeply align with our eco-friendly, eco-conscious solid wood furniture efforts; which hold a valued direction in how we manufacture our furniture made in the USA.

To learn more about the Kilpatrick Family Farm, CSA Farming (like this), as well as all the other benefits of organic farming and its process visit their site: kilpatrickfamilyfarm.com


The Price for Solid Wood Furniture

Luke Eriksen here, I’m a grandson of Manchester Wood’s founder Cliff Pierce, and the 3rd generation at work at the mill. I had a moment I wanted to share with you… I was taking photos this morning for an instruction manual on a new solid wood bookshelf. It’s a very basic piece of furniture. It has a bottom shelf, a top shelf, and a middle adjustable shelf. We had just pitched it to a strong wholesale client of ours and they felt it was out of their price range. And I got thinking… here is a basic, simple, beautiful piece of handcrafted wood furniture, and I know we’re not asking too much for it – we’re really just covering our bases in expense here – but the question swirled “why can’t it be cheaper?” Then I quickly realized, yet again, ‘it’s solid wood!’ I often forget the quality of solid wood furniture when discussing Manchester Wood’s furniture.

Mike, an employee since nearly day one 36 years ago, sanding.
Mike, an employee since nearly day one 36 years ago, sanding a piece for finishing.

We only use the highest quality resources here from the highest quality timber companies providing you (and us) the best wood to produce the solid furniture that I know my kids and grandkids will see at antique shops for years to come. That’s just the price we pay for making quality. That’s just the kind of ‘Made in USA’ item you receive when you buy from Manchester Wood. It has become increasingly hard to sell the larger items to wholesalers because of the competition, but we shouldn’t be silenced, and we won’t be. There is no question our furniture – for its quality – is affordably priced above and beyond competitors. However, for the most part we make simple American shaker style furniture that might sell quicker if it was cheap not affordable. But that’s not our business, that’s not our model, or the message of our leader who built this company we rest our hat on today. Manchester Wood is a family-run business that operates as families do, not as a corporation. We operate using 3 Principles – and you’re going to hear them a lot from us – Value, Honesty, and Community.

Our value is the dedication to solid wood when most competitors have moved to cheaper resources like plastics and lower grade wood (like particle board). We’ve remained American hardwood; that’s the kind-of solid wood that makes a grown man able to stand on a Manchester Wood TV tray table without anything happening. Try that at a box store emphasizing foreign quantity over American quality.

Our honesty speaks for itself. Including this blog and all the others we’ve ever written. From our mailers, product copy, site copy, instruction manuals, it’s all there. When you buy from us you’re buying ‘Made in USA’ furniture; you’re buying a piece of home, and that’s beyond the stamp. 

Luke and his dad, Manchester Wood's President, Ed Eriksen.
Luke and his dad, Manchester Wood’s President, Ed Eriksen.

The community aspect is with this being a family business, not a corporation, and how it’s run like a family. It has ups and downs, twists and turns, emotions of all kinds. It’s life; and we strive to develop a loving, open environment for our employees and partners in making timeless solid wood furniture. Aside from our regular celebratory events at the mill we have a lot of other exciting news developing in the community we’d like to share with you, and that’ll come in due time as plans unfold.

So there it is, just my thoughts for today. To me, regardless of opinions, this is the price for buying solid wood furniture made in the USA from our family-run mill and retailer, Manchester Wood.

Much Gratitude,

Luke Eriksen

Manchester Wood: American Made Furniture