Archival Collection #003 - Palm Furniture Store contains correspondence, catalogs, notes, pamphlets, photographs, and other materials of the Palm Furniture Store, located in Ludington, Michigan. Palm Furniture Store was one of Ludington's oldest and best-known businesses. Mr. A. A. Palm established or founded the furniture business in 1892. In 1922, Palm’s family became active in the management of the store. In 1954 the owners sold out their stock and sold the building to Clark Cleaners. The papers and catalogs portray the business world of the furniture industry. Correspondence, catalogs, and price lists contain information regarding the features, prices and size dimensions of the furniture, mirrors, baby carriages, cedar chests, carpet and linoleum hardware, canvas and metal products, tens, etc from various companies. Pamphlets contain viable information regarding advertising of furniture companies during World War II.
A full listing of the contents of this collection can be found in the Finding Aid that is attached to the media section of this catalog entry.
Palm Furniture Store Palm Furniture Store of Ludington, Michigan, was one of the city's oldest and best-known businesses. It was founded or established in 1892 by Mr. A. A. Palm. Mr. Palm, who died on May 21, 1927, was one of the city’s most enterprising and respectable merchants. Coming to the United States from Finland as a lad of 19, he worked for a time in the lumber camps at White Cloud, Michigan, and later in and around Ludington.
Mr. Palm was working in one of Ludington’s sawmills in 1892 when he learned that Mr. Wicklund of the firm of Wicklund and Anderson furniture dealers, wanted to sell his interest in the business. Mr. Pam had for some time been looking for a business in which he could invest the earnings he had saved and work which would bring him more returns than his wages in the mill.
Mr. Palm bought Mr. Wicklund’s interest in the business for $300.00. The store carried both new and used furniture and was located at 313 South James Street. For a time business was poor and Mr. Palm worked in the sawmills leaving Mr. Anderson and a female clerk in charge of the store.
The business survived the financial panic of 1893 though times were hard and there were many lean days. A typical week’s business during the fall of that year totaled $115.22.
In 1897 Mr. Palm bought out Mr. Anderson’s interest and became the sole owner of the store. Palm Furniture Store started to advertise in the newspaper in 1901, competing especially with H. M. Hallett and Co., another furniture store. In December, 1902, he called the store “People’s Store” and offered “swell” dining room chairs from $4.50 - $22 for a set of six. In 1907 he advertised 100 iron beds, 300 styles of rocking chairs and half a carload of children’s rocking chairs. These small rockers he sold at 25 cents apiece from the sidewalk.
IN 1903, Mr. Pam moved his business from two stores he had occupied at 313 and 315 South James Street to new quarters at 309 South James. A year later he bought this building. He discontinued his line of stoves and second hand goods at this time. In 1916 he bought the store at 311 South James. In 1922 he formed a partnership with his sons, George and Albert. Five years later the father died and in 1940 George Palm passed away. The store was for a time operated by the Pam estate under management of Albert, the surviving partner, and Mrs Anna Palm. In Spring of 1942 the business was divided, Albert Palm taking over management of the furniture business. Mrs. Anna Palm took the floor coverings and draperies, moving her business to 315 South James Street.
Albert Palm died in 1944 and was succeeded in the furniture store by his widow Mrs. Teckla Palm and his sisters, the Misses Very and Ellen Palm. IN 1948 the furniture business was moved into the store at 313 South James Street and Mrs. Anna Pam moved her stock of merchandise into the adjoining store, 309 South James Street.
The Palm furniture business was gradually changed so that it became a gift and china shop with only small pieces of furniture continued in the stock. In 1954 the owners sold out their stock and sold the building to Clark Cleaners.
Source: Business – Furniture: Palm Furniture Store; Rose Hawley Museum, Ludington, Michigan