Eighty years ago, Van Gorders’ Furniture began business as the Honesdale Furniture Exchange. Founder Ralph Van Gorder rented the bottom floor of the Jenkins Building on Honesdale’s Main Street in 1936 and placed an ad in the Wayne Independent saying he would buy anyone’s used furniture—“a single piece, an attic full or a house full.”
Today, our fourth-generation family-owned business sells new furniture, specializing in the finest American-made rustic home furnishings, as well as flooring and Sealy Posturepedic and Stearns & Foster mattresses. We have consistently grown and changed with the times, now serving the tri-state region with the Lake Region’s three largest furniture showrooms, located in Milford, Lake Wallenpaupack and Honesdale, PA.
80th Anniversary Facebook Contest
To celebrate our 80-year milestone, we’re awarding an $80 gift certificate every month in 2016 through a Facebook contest. Participants must “like” our page to earn a chance to win by correctly identifying various aspects of a photo we will post monthly on our Facebook page.
Check out our February winner as selected by our own Scott Mosher!
Decades before social media came into existence, Ralph Van Gorder began building a customer base the old fashioned way. Reflecting on Ralph’s business acumen, his son Don Van Gorder wrote, “I have always heard that the Dutch were avid merchants, so Dad evidently came into his calling naturally.”
It wasn’t long before Ralph realized the need to expand, and purchased a sprawling four-floor historic landmark in Honesdale, which we still use today. Originally the National Hotel, it has stood at the corner of Church and Sixth Streets since 1865.
Although the business survived the devastating flood of 1942, some artifacts, like its first ledger, are permanently stained with flood mud. The ledger reveals that the first customer bought a “Wash Boiler” for $1.00, to be paid within two weeks. The next was a “battery radio with speaker,” at a cost of $2.50—“to be worked out.”
Growing and Changing with the Times
As the business continued to grow, Don opened a modern second showroom on Route 6 at beautiful Lake Wallenpaupack, PA in 1978. His son Scott joined the business and brought a distinct focus on lodge- and Adirondack-style furnishings that reflect the natural beauty of the Pocono Mountains, Catskills and Delaware River Highlands.
Scott’s three sons Derek, Dylan and Max have since entered the business, and in October 2014 Van Gorders’ Furniture expanded into its third showroom in Milford, PA. “We have staying power, a unique product mix, and an honest approach to business,” explains Scott. Grandsons Greg and Jackson are already involved in sustaining the family reputation as a longtime community business with their winning personalities.
Another factor contributing to our 80-year success story is our caring and knowledgeable professional staff—some of whom have been with us for more than 35 years—who provide excellent and dependable service to devoted customers. As in the early days, every team member is dedicated to providing an enjoyable and relaxing shopping adventure, which means being helpful without being pushy.
Today, Van Gorders’ Furniture is proud to serve the Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey regions as the fifth generation of Van Gorders learns the art and craft of a multi-generational family business.