- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 1, 2014

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A family furniture business in Campbellsville that was destroyed by fire in 2010 is rebuilding with reproduction Shaker and midcentury modern lines, as well as custom work.

The Lexington Herald-Leader (https://bit.ly/1i9Xkab) reports Eugene McMahan & Son Furniture Co. has just four full-time workers today, including McMahan and son Patrick McMahan. But the company has kept afloat thanks to a reputation for quality and a willingness to change with the times.

The business was started by Eugene McMahan’s grandfather and his eight sons in the early 1940s. At its peak it had 38 workers.

Although times have changed, the quality of the furniture has not. Every piece is hand-crafted from solid Kentucky cherry and walnut using traditional joinery.

The McMahans make a lot of traditional cannonball and four-poster beds, chests of drawers, bookcase desks, drop-leaf tables, corner cupboards, sideboards and sugar chests. About half their work is custom. People come to them wanting a piece they have seen elsewhere or they remember from their childhood.

“We don’t charge any extra just to make it different,” Patrick McMahan said. “We charge you based on what it costs us to make it. If you’re a good furniture-maker, you should be able to sit down in a few minutes and figure out measurements.”

They also don’t require a deposit.

Eugene McMahan’s wife, Linda McMahan, said they want to know a customer is satisfied before taking a payment.

“We have never had a cold check in all those years. That says something for the type of people we deal with,” she said.

When the company started, they made a lot of reproduction Kentucky antiques. Today, they are catering to a demand for midcentury modern furniture. Patrick McMahan recently designed several mid-century modern pieces for the company. They look like originals but are solid walnut rather than veneer.

They also are producing a new line of Shaker reproduction furniture and gift items for Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill. And the company also is making furniture to refurbish rooms in some of the village’s early 1800s buildings.

Eugene McMahan is now 73 but has no plans to retire.

Meanwhile, Patrick McMahan, 34, wants the company to be around in case his 5-year-old son, Walt, wants to take over someday.


Information from: Lexington Herald-Leader, https://www.kentucky.com

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