Mental images of a bygone era flash through the mind when first meeting Lois Schneider at McBrayer Furniture Company in Cedartown.
Her silver hair gleams like a halo around a sweet face. The feeling persists that this is a Southern belle from days when the front veranda was a gathering place for family activities. Laughter and the faint smell of magnolia linger in the mind until she speaks.
A musical voice offers the customary greeting as she begins a conversation about a primitive piece once housed in the old railroad depot. She gestures to daughter Claire Nichols, who is busy talking to customers.
Mother and daughter are partners in the family business that has been the home of fine furniture since 1906. The company was founded before moving to Polk County in the 1920s.
At age 18, Schneider arrived in town to purchase a Bing Crosby record. Mary Alice Griffin asked her if she was looking for a job. Griffin suggested a visit to McBrayer Furniture could result in work for the young woman that had recently completed high school.
Part of the interview was a request to type business letters. Lois completed the task with no errors and left the building with what would begin as a job and develop into a career.
“The date was April 21, 1947,” Schneider said. “I still remember my excitement.”
The business later moved from Main Street into a warehouse off West Avenue following the death of the founder’s son.
In 1952, the store was relocated to the building that once housed Allen’s 5 & 10 at 502 Main Street.
“I remember how we got this location,” Schneider said. “We were looking for a place and saw a for sale sign in the window. We rented it and the rest is history.”
Lois and her husband Adam Schneider purchased the business in 1960. Thereafter, they welcomed A. H. Stephenson as a partner. Following his death, the couple became sole owners in 1975. The building was later sold and is now leased.
Claire Nichols remembers a childhood when downtown Cedartown was crowded with people, especially on Saturdays. There were many other popular stores to attract customers such as Belk’s and J. C. Penney.
“Business was booming and everyone made a trip to town at least once a week,” she said. “Times have changed but we still serve customers who remember coming here to shop with their parents or grandparents.”
Today, McBrayer Furniture offers a full line of home furnishings and all types of accessories, including lamps and pictures.
“We are a one stop shop for people of all ages who want to furnish their home,” Nichols said. “A customer can even design a sofa they want and we can get it with a special order.”
The store still offers free delivery and set up of its merchandise, which is 90 percent American made.
It is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday and closed on Wednesday and Sunday.
For more information about this local business, call 770-748-4710.