Chapter 4

1886-1892 was a period of prosperity. Business was increasing. We read in the Truro Daily News of Tues. Oct. 6, 1891, that “The Union Furniture and Merchandise Company are doing a rushing business. The Company is erecting a two story building 40 feet by 60 feet to be used as a grocery and provision store.”

Unfortunately, on November 3, 1892, a fire broke out in the paint room, and everything was again destroyed. Everyone rallied and the work of rebuilding commenced immediately. So well did construction proceed that the first lot of chairs left the new factory on April 22, 1893.

The new plant consisted of a four story building 100 by 40 feet, with an adjoining sawmill and lumber shed 100 feet by 35 feet of three stories, and a “dry house” nearby over 75 feet long.

A history of the Union Furniture and Merchandise Company in the Truro Daily News of Sept. 1894 points out that many of the employees had been with the Company for from 25 to 30 years. It also states that during the previous ten years over 500,000 chairs had been produced. During that period about $130,000.00 in wages had been paid out. “Between 40 and 50 women and girls have received annually some $1200.00 for putting cane in the seats and back of chairs.”

Most of the hardwood used in the furniture making, “is cut on the Company’s own land from the mountains within a short distance of the factory.”

In 1894 the President of the Union Furniture and Merchandise Company was Josiah Soley of Lower Economy. Manager was Suther B. Fulton and Edward Fulton Secretary-Treasurer.

The decade from 1893 to 1903 saw the business again expanding. Knowledge of the high quality of the Bass River Furniture spread far beyond the Maritimes. Comparison of their furniture with that produced by some of their “Upper Canada”, competitors resulted in a great many new customers.

On May 1, 1903 the name of the Company was changed to, “Dominion Chair Company Limited”. Please refer to the COBEQUID OUTLOOK of Feb.28, 1989 for details of this special day.

On Sunday September 8,1907 the entire community was saddened by the passing of Chairmaker George Fulton at the age of eighty two. An era had ended.