“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Grafton in Ozaukee County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Chair Factory History

Chair Factory History Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devon Polzar, August 6, 2015
1. Chair Factory History Marker
Inscription. The area around Falls Road and Twelfth Avenue was originally known as Milwaukee Falls. The location of the dam and millrace, which were removed in 2000, attracted several manufacturers through the years. A chair factory was built in 1848, the same year Wisconsin became a state. It continued to operate as a furniture manufacturer until 1873. In 1893, the Sheboygan Knitting Co. began producing yarn in the plant for its parent firm, the Wisconsin Chair Co. of Port Washington, which was established in 1888.

The factory was known by a variety of names during its existence, including the Milwaukee Chair Co. and the Northern Chair Co. By the early 1900s, the plant was turning out more than 40 dozen chairs daily. Several large boarding houses on Falls Road provided living quarters for the workers.

The Great Depression forced the company to discontinue leasing recording studios in New York and Chicago. Instead, it operated its own Grafton studio from 1929 to 1932. Hundreds of Wisconsin and out-of-state musicians recorded here. Among them were blues legends such as Charlie Patton, Skip James, Blind Blake, Son House, Willie Brown, and Big Bill Broonzy.

The last record was made in July 1932 by the Mississippi Sheiks. The building was demolished in 1938.
Location. 43° 
Location of Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devon Polzar, July 31, 2015
2. Location of Marker
18.573′ N, 87° 57.105′ W. Marker is in Grafton, Wisconsin, in Ozaukee County. Marker is at the intersection of Green Bay Road and Falls Road, on the right when traveling north on Green Bay Road. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Grafton WI 53024, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Blues Trail: Paramount Records (a few steps from this marker); Lime Kiln Dam Removal (approx. 0.3 miles away); Lime Kiln Dam (approx. 0.3 miles away); Grafton Lime Kilns (approx. 0.3 miles away); Paramount Records Legacy (approx. 0.6 miles away); Origin of Cedar Creek / Mills on the Creek (approx. 1.9 miles away); The First 100 Years (approx. 1.9 miles away); Concordia Mill (approx. 2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Grafton.
Categories. Arts, Letters, MusicEntertainmentIndustry & Commerce
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Devon Polzar of Port Washington, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 104 times since then and 49 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Devon Polzar of Port Washington, Wisconsin. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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