Seiling Furniture Co. Railroad, Pa

Posted in the Shrewsbury Forum

Since: Aug 10

Nottingham, MD

#1 Aug 17, 2010
When I was 15, I lived near Jacksonville in Balt, county. It was the summer of 1976 and my friend and I packed some things on our dirt bikes one weekday, and went on an overnight adventure/ trip up the abandoned Northern Central Railroad, not knowing where we would end up or stay that night. We discovered an abandoned furniture factory outside of New Freedom, in Rail Road, Pa.
It was the coolest place to explore for the many hours we were there. I have pictures of the place and even an old catalog that I saved all these years. I see that there remains an old bill board at the edge of a park where the factory once stood proclaiming the site as "The Home of Seiling Furniture".
Someone up there must know something about the place- I would love to find out more. It was a place that had to be well known in the area back in its day but I haven't been able to find anything on the internet.
Mark
Deb

Wheeling, IL

#2 Feb 16, 2011
Hello Markjen,
I was given a very cool end table today that is made by Seiling Modern Furniture, Railroad,Pa. I'm trying to find out when it was made and see more of their furniture but, like you, have not been able to find much at all on the internet. Mostly what I find is the Seiling Furniture sign erected in the 1940's by the railroad in Railroad, Pa. Man, I sure would love to see the catalog you have !!

The end table I have is a blond wood color and egg shaped with 4 legs, a small pull-out drawer and a shelf below. The drawer is dove-tailed. Very cool and very coveted I'm sure for Retro lovers. Anyway, if you find another link for this company let me know, ok ?

PS I bet that train ride was great and the exploration of the old Seiling Furniture Co. something you won't forget. Thanks, Deb.
markjen

Nottingham, MD

#3 Feb 17, 2011
Hi Deb

When we rode dirt bikes up that abandoned railway in 1976, the factory was completely there- just vacant. Nothing of value in it- broken windows, papers scattered around. I remember the office had some old furniture as well as a door-sized, empty wall safe which is where I found the catalog. The catalog shows only school science lab furniture but perhaps they made other lines as well. The interest I have is that here was a building where people spent maybe years of their lives with their lunch boxes, good times, bad times,wanting raises, getting fired, getting promoted and who knows. It probably went out of business and closed,ruining people's Christmases, making big news in New Freedom, turning workers into alcoholics.....

I was 15 at the time and drove back by there several times over the years. Little by little the factory decayed away and was then torn down section by section until only the water tower was left. Its great that the old sign has hung on- you can see it on the MSN satellite images- maybe Google earth too. Except for the sign, who would know anything was ever there? Kinda sad in a way.

Anyway- I can scan the few pics I have and some of the catalog- maybe I can post them on this site. Or you can send me your email and I can send them to you. Thanks- Mark- mjspecialtiesinc@msn.com
markjen

Nottingham, MD

#4 Feb 17, 2011
I posted the photos of the Sieling Furniture company back in 1976. Check under New Freedom photos.
Deb

Benet Lake, WI

#5 Feb 18, 2011
Hi Mark,
Thanks for posting the pictures of the old factory! I have always been intrigued be anything old. It sounds like you were too when you wandered around that old vacant factory. You must have picked up on the vibes there from reading your feelings about the place. I live in Elgin, Il., the home of the old Elgin Watch Factory. You may have heard of it. I'm sure it was a sad day as well when it closed. But all things in life run their course, I guess.... Yes, I'd like to see a few pictures in the catalog. My e-mail is kelly_green8@yahoo.com . Thanks !

Ha ! I was thinking you and your friend rode your bikes to the railroad and then jumped the train to the factory !!(I had friends back in high school who actually did that ).( but then, I had friends who did a LOT of things ).

I'm trying to find out more about this cool end table. If I was you back in that empty factory, I would have been tempted to take the furniture that was left there !!

If you should happen to run across any other links to their furniture, would you e-mail me them ? I would greatly appreciate it !

Thanks again and it was neat reading your story ! Oh, I will e-mail you the picture of my end table just so you can see it. Deb.
markjen

Nottingham, MD

#6 Feb 18, 2011
Hi Deb-
When I said there was furniture in the office I meant metal desks and stuff- not anything worthwhile. There were other stories I had like one time we drove back up there in a car to look around, it was maybe a couple years or more later and instead of the place being vacant, there was someone living in the small part of the building that was next to the car in the one picture-(that picture was yet another time I went there with a different friend). There wasn't anyone there but looking in the window there was a bed inside, a cat, other things, and a fire burning in a wood stove. The rest of the building had been boarded up and was being used for storage or something. It was kind of creepy since the building was still in an abandoned condition and certainly no plumbing or electricity.

I remember getting home and having my father scream at me saying someone could have shot us for being there! Nice huh? And the first time we found the place, we were in there in the afternoon and we looked down through where there was a freight elevator shaft between floors and at the same time, 2 men that were on a different floor looked back at us. They didn't even know we were in there and vice-versa, but they screamed at us to get out so we ran out to our dirt bikes that were parked by the Railroad tracks and left. After finding a place to camp out that night in a woods next to a field outside of town, the next morning we left early and of course went right back to the factory to finish exploring- no one was there this time. I don't mean to ramble on about the Sieling factory, but it was a really cool thing to find and explore. Now days going into a vacant building would be taking your life in your hands! Anyway, I have shown my kids these pictures before and told them about the place but have never found anything else out about the old factory- but there has to be other people with stories out there. Mark

Will try and scan some of that catalog and send to you- its just science furniture though and the catalog is only a dozen or so pages- but it is numbered as if it were one of a set of catalogs.
Mary Sieling Currie

Milton, DE

#7 Aug 21, 2012
I am the grand daughter of the Harry Sieling, who, the story goes, was the second highest bidder at the sale where the factory was sold. The highest bidder couln't come up with the money, so my grandfather, at the time a school master in a one room school house, bought it.I'm guessing that all this may have occurred around 1915/ His son, James, my father, starte working in the factory as a young boy "straightenin nails." He became vice president after my grandfather's death and ran the company with Fed Lewis, the president. The factory did quite well until the sixties when competition from the North Carolina businesses overcamethem and the unions began pressuring for higher wages. Combined, it became impossible to make enough to perpetuate the business and make some profit too, so it was sold to someone else.
That's all I know. The factory is near and dear to my family's hearts, and I'm flattered to read about your fascination with it. Mary Sieling Currie
Mark

Perry Hall, MD

#8 Oct 13, 2012
Hi Mary- I am Mark, the one who originally posted the info about the old furniture factory. I haven't looked at this forum in a long time but came across your response. That is great! I knew there was someone somewhere that had a connection to it. If you look on MSN satellite imaging, which has a bird's eye view option, you can see a section of the old building that was incorporated into a barn that is presently on the site, as well as the old bill board that is still there facing the old railroad bed. In case you didn't see them, there are pictures I put up at this site of the factory that I took way back then. Were you old enough to have visited the factory while it was open? Do you know any of its history beyond its closing? The Seiling factory was something I always had a great fascination with ever since my friend and I discovered it that summer day back in 1976. The one catalog I found there I saved for 35 years and still have. Please post anything else you think of!
Mark
Karen

Mount Prospect, IL

#9 Oct 20, 2012
Hi Mary and Mark - Thank you so much for your stories on Seiling Modern. I've been quite intrigued with the company after recently acquiring a very cool dresser at a local resale store in the Chicago area. It is made of blond veneer and has boomerang type mahogany colored legs on the sides. Inside one of the drawers was a little silver and black rectangular sticker that said Seiling Modern Railroad PA. I was hopeful to find out as much information as I could - but to read a correspondence from Mary Seiling Currie, the founder's grand daughter is just amazing!!! That's when I really am in awe of technology. Wish there were more stories to read and other samples and styles of furniture to see. I wonder how many people it employed at the height of it's success and how many designers and wood workers they had? Just curious. Thank you again - Karen
Tim

Barnegat, NJ

#10 Nov 18, 2012
I live in Little Egg Harbor,NJ and was greatly affected by Superstorm Sandy. One of our treasures was a beautiful bedroom set( which belonged to my partner's parents)that was manufactured by Seiling Furniture. It was cherry with a onyx color overlay and base. Unfortunately the flooding destroyed it. I would love to know more about it and especially because I need to come up with a value for insurance purposes. If anyone can help me out I would appreciate it!
Mark

Nottingham, MD

#11 Nov 19, 2012
Tim- I am sorry to hear of the turmoil everyone is going through up there and the seeming lack of help from the government. As far as your furniture goes I guess it would be difficult to put a price tag on it. I only knew of the vacant Sieling building that I explored as a teenager and the little bit of history I am reading as people pop up on this Topix page.
Its just a matter of time before someone else adds to the comments- perhaps there are furniture sites that can be searched for specific brand names.
TAK

Youngstown, OH

#12 Apr 11, 2013
I have a 5 piece blonde bedroom set from railroad Pennsylvania seiling furniture from the early 50's was wondering if it is of any value thank you
Christine Davis

Jersey City, NJ

#13 May 6, 2013
Recent acquired a Seiling Modern Cherry with with onyx color overlay dresser set. Beautiful, sleek lines, mid century modern at its best. One dresser had built in cedar chest. I paid $100 total at a Goodwill store in the Chicago area. I believe I just got lucky. Great pieces in pretty good condition.....just some scratches need fixin....my friends tell me I could turn them around and sell for $300 EACH. Nope not selling...just too beautiful. They do not make furniture like that anymore.
Tim

United States

#14 May 6, 2013
Christine,

You are very lucky!! That is exactly what we had. Unfortunately we have had to replace it with new furniture since after 6 months we have finally moved back into our home. Treasure it we will always miss it!
Bob

Lawrenceburg, IN

#15 Jun 27, 2013
My meticulous aunt passed and left the estate with a beautiful, like brand new bedroom set of Sieling Modern circa 1930s furniture. The dresser is in perfect shape and bottom drawer is a cedar drawer. It has a matching nightstand and headboard footboard on the bed. It looks very expensive and bought by my granddad prior to the depression cleaning him out of his rich lifestyle. Can anyone direct me where t get an appraisal or sale?
Karla Sieling

Gaithersburg, MD

#16 Aug 3, 2013
Bob, I am Mary's niece and might be interested in the set. Please email me at my name(no space)@ gmail?
kim

New Kensington, PA

#17 Jan 12, 2014
I've owned a five piece bedroom set for about 10 yrs. Is there any way to tell when it was made?
Fitus T Bluster

Longwood, FL

#18 Jan 17, 2014
Bob wrote:
My meticulous aunt passed and left the estate with a beautiful, like brand new bedroom set of Sieling Modern circa 1930s furniture. The dresser is in perfect shape and bottom drawer is a cedar drawer. It has a matching nightstand and headboard footboard on the bed. It looks very expensive and bought by my granddad prior to the depression cleaning him out of his rich lifestyle. Can anyone direct me where t get an appraisal or sale?
Call Stoner`s or wherley`s auction, they can tell you.
David Griffin

New York, NY

#19 Apr 8, 2014
Karla Sieling wrote:
Bob, I am Mary's niece and might be interested in the set. Please email me at my name(no space)@ gmail?
I have a beautiful Sieling Modern Bedroom set
It is Black Lacquer and Gold Leaf with Asian influence it's a great set
A long dresser of the same design sold in Manhattan recently for 3,500.00
The tag on the back says 1952
Elizabeth Maring

Palatine, IL

#20 May 10, 2014
I am the founder and director of a nonprofit thrift store in Buffalo Grove IL. Today a lovely Sieling Modern "Burmese Rosewood" dresser and mirror came into the store as a donation. It is very interesting with Art Deco handles and a glass piece that sets about 3 inches above the top of the dresser on small rails. We will sell it likely next week. For its age, it is in good shape with a black either painted or lacquered bottom. We get a lot of old dressers and this one has unusual character.
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