If you know anyone who is interested in owning some Orinoco furniture, I currently have two contacts with dining room suites for sale. One is in Battle Creek, Michigan. The other is in Chicago.
Also..........Minor set-backs with the historical marker. My April 19th goal will not be realized. The current building owner and I had a couple spots picked out to locate the marker. City engineers and current building tenants can't agree with us. Things are still up in the air. UGH!
I am now waiting on the city engineer to get info from the city attorney. This is turning out to be more of a problem than I ever dreamed....just getting all parties to agree on a spot to poke this marker into the ground!
Once I have a date set, I'll post here. There will likely be an announcement in the local paper, too.
Post by Jason Hatton on Oct 2, 2006 19:37:18 GMT -5
I just wanted to let everyone know that Rhonda Bolner will be giving a fantastic program about the histories of the Orinoco and Lincoln Chair companies on November 2 at the Bartholomew County Public Library.
Here is a description from the library's website (www.barth.lib.in.us/orinoco.html) " Rhonda will share her knowledge of the history of the two companies. She will bring catalogs, drawings of the furniture, and photographs of the buildings where the furniture was made. Rhonda will also bring some small furniture items to show. Those attending may bring furniture with them if they wish and Rhonda can help in determining if it is a piece from Orinoco Furniture or the Lincoln Chair Company."
The program will be November 2 from 7:00-8:00pm in the Red Room. Registration is requested to make sure there is enough interest and to make sure that there will be enough seating. You can call the Reference desk at 372-1266 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pass the word around so we can help Rhonda tell the great story of these two influential Columbus companies.
Post by Ricky_Berkey on Nov 2, 2006 5:40:29 GMT -5
Tonite at the Library (11/02/06) at 7pm in the Red Room, Rhonda Bolner will be giving a presentation about the histories of the Orinoco Furniture and Lincoln Chair companies.
" Rhonda will share her knowledge of the history of the two companies. She will bring catalogs, drawings of the furniture, and photographs of the buildings where the furniture was made. Rhonda will also bring some small furniture items to show. Those attending may bring furniture with them if they wish and Rhonda can help in determining if it is a piece from Orinoco Furniture or the Lincoln Chair Company."
Pass the word around and bring your friends so we can help Rhonda tell the great story of these two influential Columbus companies.
If any of you know of anyone who would be interested in buying an Orinoco dining room suite, let me know. A friend in Chicago has just purchased a second suite and will be selling one suite soon. I can hook you up!
Also.........Concerning my historical marker.........Still waiting on approval from the city engineer. I'm trying to work with INDOT through the state historical people. It's very frustrating.
The Orinoco Furniture Company was incorporated on April 19, 1890. The final sale of the building was on August 27, 1940, at which time, all remaining materials, patterns, machinery, and the building, were sold at auction.
We are getting closer to dedication of the historical marker at the Orinoco building!
I met the sales rep and picked up the break-away device Tuesday morning. Yesterday, the folks at the Indiana Historic Bureau wrote and said that the marker manufacturer states that the delivery date of the marker is still on track for next Friday, April 6th!
Site preparation will have to be done, and some modification on the marker post, so that it can be mounted to the break-away device. If all goes well, we could finally have this thing dedicated for the public before the end of April. Yippee!
On Thursday, I delivered the required breakaway device to the City Engineer's office. This will need to be installed prior to the post being set in place. The city engineer's office has agreed to install the entire thing for me....since it's on city right-of-way! We are getting SO close now to having this historical marker dedication!
Yea! Rhonda! Great news. We drove past the building on our way home from church this morning and I said to Don "somewhere right here is where the Historical Marker will be placed". I wasn't sure but did remember you said on the grass area.
Please let us know when the dedication will be!
Also if you know the folks at City Hall where Margo has to go for the parking permit, that would be great if you could assist her. I told her I would help but since you know them maybe that would work out better. Let me know on this too. I was not sure if she was needing help with the forms, figuring out how many spaces or just what. Knowing who you are dealing with is sometimes more than half the battle I am sure. Thanks...
"My" historical marker was delivered Thursday! It has been picked up by the city traffic department and put into storage at the city garage for safe keeping. They are going to try to have it installed on the Orinoco site by Thursday, April 19th, which is my birthday.
Official dedication is planned for Saturday, April 28th, at 11:00 a.m.
Post by Ricky_Berkey on Apr 20, 2007 8:16:30 GMT -5
from The Republic 20 April 2007 please buy and read our local paper
Lincoln-Orinoco furniture remembered with marker by Harry McCawley
I met Rhonda Bolner after she tapped me on the shoulder at a Bartholomew County Historical Society exhibit several years ago. I turned and looked into the face of a complete stranger, which probably explains my surprise when she told me we were kin. It turns out that our kinship was one of marriage. Rhonda is my wife’s cousin. That she would turn up in Columbus at that particular moment was in keeping with the particular exhibit the historical society was unveiling. It was a collection of Lincoln-Orinoco furniture, items made right here in Columbus in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I had an interest in the exhibit because my wife’s greatgrandfather was William Lincoln, the man who started the companies known across the country for the high quality of its products. He was also Rhonda’s greatgrandfather. At the time Rhonda was living in northern Indiana. Years later she and her husband, Bob, would move to Columbus. She’s been here less than a decade. For those who know her, it seems like a lifetime. I would hold her up as a model for anyone moving to Columbus from somewhere else who is looking for ways to get involved. I suspect her first suggestion would be — don’t wait to be asked. She certainly didn’t. Over the years she has joined clubs, volunteered her time and taken on projects that might otherwise have been orphans. She’s worked with the group collecting and preserving the artifacts, papers and plans dealing with Columbus’ architectures. She’s a tour guide with the Visitors Center and has made several presentations before the Bartholomew County Historical Society and other organizations. She knows more about local history than most people who have lived here all their lives. There is one area however in which her involvement and interest have taken on an aura of fanaticism — making sure that the world in general and Columbus in particular knows about her great-grandfather’s furniture companies. It’s been more than 67 years since the last piece of Lincoln-Orinoco furniture was shipped out of the plant on 17th Street. It closed in 1940 but it had been in cardiac arrest for years. With the Great Depression came an economic reality. Very few people could afford to buy the exquisite furniture made in Columbus. Lincoln refused to lower his standards, and the business was eventually forced into bankruptcy. But from 1891 — when he took over a factory that was producing Orinoco Furniture — through the late 1920s, Columbus became the unofficial capital of Indiana’s extensive furniture-making industry. The company produced the best in parlor, library and tea tables, ladies’ desks, living room chairs, sofas, beds and dining room sets. By 1913 it was spreading out and that year the Lincoln Chair company was established. Craftsmen, artisians It had a work force of several hundred, but these were no mere laborers. They were highly trained craftsmen and artisans who painstakingly crafted each piece to a level of perfection that would only be considered unprecedented today. The Depression ended it all. As years passed after closure, memories faded. Unfortunately, so did company records. There were reminders of the business in scores of home around Columbus. Families held on to their Orinoco tables and Lincoln chairs. The company even had a champion in local collector John Williams who had several pieces of furniture and countless catalogs in which Lincoln and Orinoco furnishings were lavishly presented in exquisite colors. When Rhonda moved to town, John felt the experience of a lonely man who has just discovered a fellow traveler. Thing is, Rhonda has taken her attachment to Lincoln-Orinoco to new levels. She quickly developed a Website geocities.com/lincolnorinoco/index.html and established it as the go-to place for anyone in the world who owns Lincoln-Orinoco furniture. But later this month — 11 a.m. April 28 — she will achieve a dream that has been in her mind for years. At that time the Indiana Historical Society will unveil a historical marker at 1720 17th St., marking it as the location of one of the best furniture-making operations in the country. It is a project that Rhonda has pursued basically by herself for years. It was done so that the work of her great-grandfather and the hundreds of his artisans will never be forgotten. When they unveil it, I think I’ll tap her on the shoulder and say, “Hi, we’re kin.”
Harry McCawley is associate editor of The Republic. He can be reached by phone at 379-5620 or by e-mail at email@example.com.