Grand Rapids: Furniture City

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William Haldane opened a cabinet shop in 1836, 14 years before Grand Rapids incorporated. Other furniture companies followed: Berkey and Gay, Widdicomb, Sligh, Hekman, and Phoenix were among those taking advantage of the Grand River for transportation and power, the area s abundant hardwood supply, and a growing immigrant labor pool. The furniture soon attracted national attention. In 1876, the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition proved conclusively that a river town in Michigan had indeed earned the title Furniture City. ...

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