AIRVILLE, PENNSYLVANIA

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Airville is a rural farming community in York County, Pennsylvania. Airville is located in the southeastern part of the county where Pennsylvania Route 74 and Pennsylvania Route 425 intersect and is about 4 miles outside Woodbine. Airville dates back to 1796 when it was called McSherrysville.

Airville has an estimated population of 3100 and includes residents from Lower Chanceford, Peach Bottom, and Fawn townships. The Susquehanna River separates Airville from Lancaster County on its eastern side. Travelers can cross the river via the Norman Wood Bridge along Pennsylvania Route 372, which connects to Quarryville in Lancaster County. Like Lancaster, there are many Amish people living in Airville. Amish buggies travel up and down Route 74 and across Rt. 372 daily on their way to and from their farms. Airville is a good town in which to shop for fresh produce, eggs, and raw milk at the local farms.

There aren’t many stores in the area. There are mostly farm markets and a couple auto repair shops. There is a unique leather repair shop along Route 74 in Airville. Many of the residents shop at Dorn’s Used Furniture store when they need furniture or household goods. Dorn’s Used Furniture has a great selection of vintage furniture made in the USA. You’ll find furniture made by Ethan Allen, Thomasville, Broyhill, and more. There’s a large variety of lamps, pictures, glassware, dishes, mirrors, figurines and other fine home décor items.

There’s a grocery store and Dollar General in Delta.

Attractions in Airville include the Otter Creek Campground and the historical Indian Steps Museum, which are located along Pennsylvania Route 425 and the Susquehanna River. Remnants of the Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad are also scattered throughout Airville, along Muddy Creek.

Otter Creek Campground, bordering both the Susquehanna River and Otter Creek, offers campers primitive campsites on acres of beautiful woodland.

Along the Susquehanna River there are several Bald Eagle nests as well as Hawk nesting areas. It is a popular place for bird watchers to come see the birds of prey.

Indian Steps Museum

The story of Indian Steps Cabin begins over ten thousand years ago. The area gets its name from the “steps” carved in the nearby Susquehanna River’s rocks by early people of the region who used the footholds to fish for shad and gather food along the river. The arrows, spear heads, stone axes and other relics embedded in the building were the belongings of the first residents of York County.

Indian Steps Museum, built in 1912 by John Edward Vandersloot, is primarily a memorial to the Native Americans who lived along the Susquehanna River. The museum includes a round room or kiva and masonry walls that are embedded with 10,000 artifacts to form Indian patterns, birds, animals and reptiles. The original inhabitants of the area surrounding Indian Steps were the Algonquians, later succeeded by the Susquehannocks. The Susquehannocks remained in the vicinity of Indian Steps from around 1605-1680. The last Native American tribe who settled along the river was the Shawnee who departed to the west in 1765. Petroglyphs, arrowheads and axes have been unearthed at various points along both shores of the river.

Visit the Ma & Pa Railroad Heritage Village

Come visit the authentic circa 1900’s historic Ma & Pa Railroad Heritage Village at Muddy Creek Forks in York County, Pennsylvania. With train rides for all, restored buildings to explore, special events, and a museum full of antiques, railroad artifacts, and milling equipment, the Heritage Village at Muddy Creek Forks is alive.

You can tour the A.M. Grove general store and see how a nearly 100 year old elevator works.

You can also tour the old grain elevator, roller mill, and other out buildings: scale house, corn cribs, barn, and cannery ruins. There’s an original Ma & Pa caboose.

The Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad was established in 1901 by the merging of the Baltimore and Lehigh Railway with the York Southern. The Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad, popularly known as the Ma & Pa, connected Baltimore and York, Pennsylvania, over a 77 mile route.

The mainline traveled northeast from Baltimore through Towson, Bel Air and into Whiteford.

At Delta, Pa., the line followed the banks of Muddy Creek passing through Felton, Red Lion, and Dallastown on into York. The Ma & Pa served as an indispensable link between rural communities and the outside world in the days before modern highways and automobiles.

It hauled furniture from Red Lion, slate from Delta, and milk from farms in Airville, Delta, & Whiteford along the route, fostering the economic progress of the whole region. The railroad also took residents from their rural homes to the “big city” for jobs, shopping, and entertainment.

The Maryland Division from Whiteford south was abandoned in 1958, but the Pennsylvania portion survived into the 80’s. At that time, the Society stepped in to preserve a piece of this unique little railroad, which was so prominent in the history and development of the area.

VISIT CARDIFF, MD

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Cardiff is a quiet little town in Harford County, MD, tucked in between Whiteford, MD and Delta, PA. It’s a town that has remained unchanged for decades, seemingly stuck in the past. While other towns in Harford County such as Bel Air and Aberdeen have had tremendous growth in population, development, and traffic, Cardiff is a town with a population under 600, not a single traffic light or fast food burger joint in the town. It has a laid back sleepy town atmosphere that most of the residents in Cardiff prefer. It’s not uncommon to see an Amish buggy traveling through the center of town on Main Street on its way to Delta. There are many Amish families living in the surrounding areas of Delta, Airville, and Holtwood on nearby farms. They enjoy selling their home grown produce at the farmers market in Delta during the summer months.

Cardiff is part of the Whiteford-Cardiff Historic District, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2005. Cardiff, named after the capital city of Wales, has a strong Welsh ethnic heritage, which is reflected in the local architecture. There are still several stone Welsh cottages in Cardiff, along Green Marble Rd. They were built between 1850 and 1900 by the Welsh immigrants who settled here to work in the slate quarry. Cardiff was formerly the mining center of Harford County, due to the abundance of both slate and green marble.

Cardiff, MD is famous for it’s Green Marble, which was first discovered in 1874. In 1880, the Green Serpentine Marble Company was founded, but it closed two years later because the marble was too hard to cut. In 1913, workers blasting to build a road between Delta, Pa., and Cardiff found a hard green stone that was later identified as marble. Geologically, marble is a calcium carbonate, a sedimentary stone. However, the Cardiff green stone is a “serpentine”, which is a complex magnesium silicate — an igneous rock. Locals from Cardiff have named the marble “the green stone.” This green stone was not pretty until after it’s polished, it transformed into a dark green with swirls of light and dark colors throughout. This shade of green marble is only found in Cardiff, MD. In 1929, the Maryland Green Marble Company began extracting the stone from a depth of 150 feet and later to 350 feet with tunnels extending roughly 1000 feet under the town.

Cardiff’s green marble earned a place in American architectural history as large amounts of it was used in many national landmarks including the White House, New York’s Empire State Building, and the National Archives in Washington. It was used to decorate the Department of Highways Building in Harrisburg, along with walls in City Hall in York, PA, the stairs at Longwood Gardens, and in banks, post offices and drugstores up and down the East Coast.

Harford County still has many public buildings that have green marble, including the old courthouse and the old post office in Bel Air, which now houses the Harford County Historical Society.

The Maryland Green Marble Company is no longer in operation, but the quarry structures and quarry still remain. The stone has not been quarried since 1982, but there will always be a special place in the hearts – and homes – for what locals will always call “the green stone.”

Most businesses are on Main Street, which runs from Whiteford to the Pennsylvania border, or Dooley Road, running from Main Street to Route 165. The town has a hair salon, a cafe, tea house, auto repair shops, a feed mill, churches, a supermarket, and a very nice used furniture store called Dorn’s Used Furniture.

The Tea Trolley

Step back into history and enjoy an afternoon tea surrounded by Victorian elegance. The Tea Trolley is across from the old feed mill on Main Street just down the street from Dorn’s Used Furniture Store.

There are many large fine Victorian homes in Cardiff, MD. The proud home owners care about preserving the history of their homes which shows in the manner in which they are maintained. Most of them are beautifully furnished with antique and vintage furniture from the mid-1800’s through mid-century 1950’s. Victorian style sofas, chairs, tables and china cabinets in mahogany, cherry, oak and walnut grace many of these homes. Chippendale, Duncan Phyfe, Hepple-White, and Queen Anne are some of the popular furniture styles found here. There are some fine examples of hand-crafted Empire chests from the mid-1800’s. Fine lace tablecloths, mirrors, oil paintings and vintage lamps with hand-sewn shades add the finishing touches to these nice homes. Marble top tables are also very popular. Many of the residents in Cardiff and surrounding areas of Whiteford, Delta, Pylesville, Street, and Airville shop here at Dorn’s Used Furniture store for their furniture and home accessories. Here are some pictures of furniture local customers have purchased at Dorn’s Used Furniture to furnish their homes.


As far as things to do in Cardiff, there isn’t much right in town. However, there are many nice parks just a stone’s throw away. Rock State Park, in Forest Hill is right off of Rt.165 on Rt 24. Muddy Run Park and Campground is off of Rt.372 from Rt.74. There are lots of hiking trails, fishing, boating on the lake, and camping. There are several other campgrounds and parks right around that area along the Susquehannock River. Eden Park is a nature center in Pylesville just south of Cardiff on Route 165. These parks are only 10-15 minutes from Cardiff, MD.

SOLID WOOD FURNITURE

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Solid wood is real wood from the trunk of a tree that is cut into boards at a lumber mill. The durability and beauty of a good piece of solid wood furniture depends on the type of wood used to build it and the workmanship that goes into it.Wood furniture is built to last a lot longer than furniture made with man-made materials. Wood furniture is handed down from generation to generation as family heirlooms. Scratches, gouges, burns or other damage on wood furniture can be touched up or repaired, whereas furniture made with synthetic materials cannot be sanded, stained, refinished or repaired. Screws, nails, and brackets won’t hold the same because the particle board crumbles around it.

Good craftsmanship means everything when it comes to good quality furniture and strength & durability. When you look at furniture that was handcrafted here in the US from the early 1900’s and older, a couple of things stand out to me. One is the construction of drawers. The bottoms sides and back of the drawers were all made of real solid wood, not particle board. They were always dovetailed together by hand, not glued or nailed together. If you look at the joints or corners of the drawer below you can see how it is dovetailed together. This drawer is constructed of solid cherry wood.

WE LOOK FOR DOVETAIL JOINTS

Of all woodworking joints, the through dovetail is admired for not only its strength, but also for its beauty. Dovetail joints used to always be made by hand. Today there are hand tools called dovetailing jigs and routers to make dovetail joints much easier.

Half-blind dovetails (where the sides of the tails are visible, but the ends are not) are used when the sides of the drawer must connect directly with the face of the drawer. Dovetails on drawers should only be visible when the drawer is opened, but be hidden when the drawer is closed.

The mortise and tenon joint has been used for centuries by woodworkers because of their combination of superior strength and simplicity. They are typically used when one piece of wood is joined to the other at 90-degrees. One piece of wood is inserted into the other, and then held in place with a fastener. Today, most woodworkers use glue to secure the tenon inside the mortise, but in the 1900’s, the tenon protruded through the mortised wood, and secured by a wedge or dowel.

TYPES OF WOOD USED TO MAKE FURNITURE

For at least the last twenty five years, engineered woods, Plywood, MDF, Fiberboard, particle board, laminates, and composites have largely replaced natural wood for furniture making because it’s much cheaper. They are made in factories around the world from wood chips or sawdust that is mixed with glue and pressed into boards.
They are not strong and long lasting like wood because most are 50% glue and also contain toxic chemicals including formaldehyde. Formaldehyde causes many health problems for people including respiratory difficulties.

If you buy a piece of furniture made with these materials don’t expect it to last long regardless of how much you paid for it. Furniture brochures can say that furniture made from these man-made boards are made from real wood because they are made from sawdust and small wood chips. Today we see molded plastic with stamped wood grain being used to make furniture.

THE ADVANTAGES OF BUYING USED FURNITURE INSTEAD OF NEW

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For many consumers the decision to buy used furniture is due to price. Many families are struggling financially and simply cannot afford new furniture, or cannot afford the quality of furniture they would like to have. There are furniture stores today throughout the country peddling low cost furniture, such as Ashley Furniture, but it is of such poor quality and workmanship that it rarely lasts very long. What may seem a low price may in the end cost more when it has to be replaced again and again.

Today the majority of furniture being sold in the USA is mass produced overseas in China, Malaysia, and other countries where labor costs are a small fraction of labor costs here in the US, and with substandard materials or with wood that was illegally harvested from the rainforests of South America. Although furniture is being manufactured by well known American Furniture companies such as Broyhill, Lane, American Drew, Simmons, Lazyboy, Thomasville, Bassett, Pennsylvania House, and others, and they continue to put Made in USA on the labels, most of the manufacturing process is done in third world countries using cheap labor.

NEWS FLASH! It is no longer made here in the USA. They have lobbied lawmakers who have drafted laws stating that as long as one step of the manufacturing process, such as applying a finish, is completed in the USA, these companies are allowed by law to state that their furniture is Made in the USA. This practice has nearly destroyed one of America’s largest manufacturing industries and eliminated thousands of American jobs over the last twenty years. It is deceitful and untruthful to the American consumer.

In the good ole days of the USA furniture was hand-crafted of solid wood by skilled craftsmen. They took pride in their work and the furniture they made lasted for decades and became family heirlooms.

Then with the industrial revolution, machines made it easier and faster to manufacture larger numbers of furniture in a short period of time. Furniture manufacturing became a big part of the American economy and good jobs especially in North Carolina, Virginia, Michigan, New York, and Pennsylvania. Good quality solid wood was still used and assembly practices such as dovetailing drawers was still common practice among good furniture makers. This prevailed from the 1930’s through about 1970. This furniture stood the test of time. Many of this furniture is still around today and in good usable condition.

It is furniture from this period of time that we strive to offer our customers who come to shop here at Dorn’s Used Furniture.

After 1980 furniture making in this country began to change for the worse. Furniture manufacturers were more concerned with making big profits quickly than making good quality furniture or providing good jobs to support the communities they were in. Many furniture makers began to use cheaper particle board or pressed wood instead of solid wood. They began gluing the wood together instead of dovetailing. It was much faster and saved the company lots of money.

Today most furniture made is nothing more than sawdust glued together with a wood finish stain applied, and yet the stores are charging thousands of dollars to consumers for this poor quality furniture. It swells up and warps out of shape when it gets wet, shelves bow if you put any amount of weight on them, and heaven forbid if it starts coming apart and you try to screw it back together. The sawdust just crumbles apart. When you read a furniture ad that says Cherry finish or oak finish this means the furniture just has a Cherry or Oak stain applied to that piece of furniture. It is not solid wood, but merely particle board or sawdust. Cushions on sofas and chairs are filled with cheap poly fill that flattens to nothing like a cheap pillow. They used to be made with very dense foam rubber that did not lose its shape or strength even after least fifty years of use. Sofas and chairs are being upholstered with cheaper dress fabrics instead of true upholstery fabric. It matters because true quality made upholstery fabric was designed for furniture to last for decades. Fabric being used today wears out in less than two years. Even sofas with tags labeled Leather, is not true. It is what was called vinyl in the 1950’s through the 1980’s. Now this man made vinyl that is so much thinner and easy to tear than decades ago, is being called Leather. Believe me when I tell you that true genuine leather is one of the toughest materials around. You cannot tear it or even puncture it very easily the way these new leather sofas rip easily. I make genuine leather bags by hand and I know how just how tough it is. I always have some here at the store to show my customers what real leather is like.

Yet today this low quality furniture is not reflected in the price tag when you walk into some of the furniture stores today. The only way to really get top quality made furniture totally made in the USA is to go to a small family run cabinet shop. There are still a few throughout the US but only a few compared to the thousands that used to thrive in this country in the early 1900’s.

You can own a piece of their legacy by buying good quality used furniture. It was made with style and character. Today’s furniture has no style because that requires a skilled craftsman and lots of tedious labor. There’s no shape today, just straight lines and cuts, square and rectangular. Furniture today is much thinner and lighter weight than furniture from fifty years ago or older. Some people today want things lightweight and plain. If that is what you prefer than by all means buy new. Happy shopping to you whatever your preference may be.