Ethan Allen, Inc.
South Main Avenue
The Maiden Division is one of seventeen Ethan Allen plants of which three are located in North Carolina. the other North Carolina locations are Old Fort and Spruce Pine. Ethan Allen dealers now total over 300 and has even expanded into the international market with locations in Canada, Mexico and 20 overseas locations.
The Maiden location had its origin during the Great Depression of the 1930's when a Maiden resident, A.C. Black, invested in a small furniture store. Mr. Black scoured the countryside for unfinished tables and chairs, which he brought back to Maiden, finished and offered for sale. Eventually he decided to try making furniture and started the "Maiden Upolstery Company" in a building on South Main Avenue.
Mr. Black's business grew to the point that he aquired additional space in an old feed mill building on North Main Avenue. In 1945 after fire destroyed the South Main Avenue plant, the North Main location was enlarged and the name was changed to "Superior Chair Inc.".
In 1948, Ethan Allen, Inc. made its first investment in Superior Chair and began to enlarge the facilities and sales volume. In 1958, with the North Main location splitting at the seams, a new operation was begun in the eastern part of town.
Construction at the present South Main Avenue location was begun in 1959 when a 16,000 square foot warehouse was added. This was followed with additional construction projects over the years, so that by 1964 the east Maiden plant was phased out and all production was being done in the North and South Main locations.
In 1972 the name of the Maiden location was changed from "Superior Chair" to the "Maiden Division of Ethan Allen, Inc.". Expansion was made again in 1973 with the opening of the Southeastern Distribution Center and was followed in 1977 with the addition of the Central Fabric Division.
The remaining facility on North Main Avenue originally opened by Mr. Black was phased out in 1979 with the move of the woodworking operations to the South Main site and was sold in 1983.
In 1985 a 200,000 square foot facility was completed on the Maiden site for the manufacture of motion furniture and the warehousing of company's fabric inventory.
The Maiden site of 85 acres and 714,000 square feet of manufacturing and warehouse space currently has three operating divisions:
1) The Maiden Division which manufactures fully upholstered chairs, loveseats, and sofas;
2) The Southeastern distribution Center which distributes both fully upholstered and case goods items to all southeastern dealers;
3) And the Central Fabric Division, which receives, inspects and ships fabric to each of the four Ethan Allen upholstery plants.
These three divisions employ 560 people who produce over 2500 pieces per week.
2003 by Robin Barger or contributors as shown.
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