When James Remley Brumby's failing barrel company forced him to try his hand at chair making in 1875, little did he know that more than a century later his rocking chairs would be known worldwide.
The fledgling chair company started in Marietta shortly after the Civil War with the purchase of a $25 hand lathe. James Remley and his brother Thomas M. Brumby together formed Brumby and Brother and by 1884 the company was incorporated as The Brumby Chair Company. The company has remained in the family, and in Marietta, ever since.
For the next 70 years, the Brumby Chair Company flourished as it was passed from generation to generation, growing to produce almost 200 lines of fine hand-made furniture while operating their own shipping company and printing press to print their catalogs. Once the largest employer in Marietta, Georgia, the factory housed over 350 employees.
Finally, in 1944, the inevitable happened. The factory was closed and sold to a short-lived Ohio furniture manufacturing company. But after 70 prosperous years of business, the Brumby family was not ready to let go of the family company entirely. As a result, the family retained the Brumby Chair name and the Brumby Rocker trademark.
This proved to be a wise decision. Following several years of inactivity, the Brumby® Jumbo Rocker was produced again under a license granted to Frank and Carole Melson in 1972. The Brumby Rocker became, once again, an instant fixture in homes and on front porches across the country.
With over a 100 years of producing rocking chairs, Brumby® Rockers can be found on porches of luxury resorts from Yellow Stone National Park to Naples, Florida. Once found on the Truman Balcony of the White House, Brumby® Rockers have seated presidents, dignitaries, industry leaders and iconic American authors, and each Brumby Rocker is made to last for generations.
When Carole Melson retired from handcrafting the Brumby® Rockers in 1991, The Brumby Chair Company President Otis A. Brumby, Jr., the youngest grandson of founder Thomas M. Brumby, couldn't bear to see his family heirloom threatened by extinction once again. He obtained permission from the five family members who owned the Brumby trademark and brought the Brumby Chair Co. back to life.
In Spring 1992, he reopened The Brumby Chair Co. at 37 West Park Square, located appropriately on historic Marietta Square. The new showroom and workshop sit only blocks away from the original Brumby Chair Factory on Kennesaw Avenue. When asked about the significance of his family's company to Marietta, Brumby says, "The Brumby Chair Co. and the Brumby Rocker have been a part of Marietta's history since 1875, and I hope to help insure the continuation of this heritage."
Upon the death of Otis A. Brumby, Jr. on September 8, 2012, ownership and management of The Brumby Chair Company transferred to his wife Martha Lee Brumby and his five children. The Brumby Chair Company is once again flourishing and is determined to continue to offer the world's greatest rocking chair. The Brumby Chair Company represents over a century of history, craftsmanship, and quality. A Brumby® Rocker is more than a rocking chair, it is a legacy, it's one of America's last heirlooms.