Marietta Station History
James R. Brumby was the moving force behind the construction of the three buildings of Marietta Station. Brumby started making wooden barrels in Marietta after the Civil War. As flour mills converted from wooden barrels to bags for shipping, Brumby began making wooden chairs. By 1874, he formed the Brumby Chair Company with his brother, Thomas M. Brumby. The company was a successful manufacturer of chairs, first making its famous rocker in 1879. At about the same time, Brumby Chair settled into its new factory where the Brumby Lofts are now located. By the late 1880’s, however, J.R. Brumby had health issues that caused him to sell his interest in the family business to his brother, Thomas, and retire to Mobile, Alabama, in 1888.
J.R. Brumby’s health improved quickly after his departure from Marietta, and he soon returned. However, his brother did not want to sell him any ownership back in the Brumby Chair Company. So, in December 1891, he filed to form The Marietta Manufacturing Company. The company’s charter was granted in January, 1892, and the next month he sold the new company his personally owned land in downtown Marietta between the Western and Atlantic Railroad and Church Street.
Marietta Manufacturing Company immediately proceeded to construct two buildings on its property. Before 1895, it had completed what is now known as the Denmead and Carmichael Buildings along with a water tower which provided water pressure for a fire sprinkler system as well as a boiler and steam engine.
In April 1893, Marietta Manufacturing Company petitioned the Cobb Superior Court to change its name to Marietta Chair Company, giving as one reason that “mail does not readily reach it because it is often addressed to ‘The Marietta Chair Company’ instead of ‘The Marietta Manufacturing Company’.” Although not stated in the petition, one imagines that the mail probably went to the other chair factory in town, its competitor, Brumby Chair Company, owned by Thomas Brumby. The corporate name was changed to The Marietta Chair Company in August, 1894.
Marietta Chair Company apparently prospered, purchasing the site of what is now known as The Brumby Building in 1900 and then constructing that building prior to 1905. It also removed the boiler and steam engine from the Denmead Building and in 1905 constructed a new boiler with a steam dry kiln to dry its lumber in an adjacent building.
The Marietta Chair Company soon experienced a change in fortune. In February 1917, it pledged its interest in the Brumby Building for a loan of $13,500. In March, it pledged its interest in the Carmichael Building for another loan. In September, it sold its Church Street frontage and the Denmead Building back to J.R. Brumby who then leased it to a sister company, the Kennesaw Hosiery Company. J. R. Brumby sold off the Church Street frontage in 1923, and after converting the lease to a purchase, Kennesaw Hosiery Company sold the Denmead Building to another hosiery mill in 1924.
The Marietta Chair Company sold the Brumby Building in May of 1919 and finally the Carmichael Building in February, 1921. Thus, by February 1921, Marietta Chair Company no longer owned any of Marietta Station. After the Kennesaw Hosiery sale in 1924, the Brumby family had ceased to have any relationship with the Marietta Station property.