JBHA

BACKGROUND

Jeff Herr began buying and selling old furniture while in graduate school at Penn State University in 1973. By 1974 he found wholesale buyers from Texas and California for American turn of the century Oak furniture. Weekend purchases from auctions and used furniture dealers were accumulated and stored in a rented 2-car garage in State College. Buyers emptied the garage twice a month.

In 1975, with all of his coursework in English and American literature completed except the dissertation, Jeff bought a huge, used Mayflower Van Lines furniture truck at an auction. At the end of the spring term in 1975 Jeff gave up his teaching assistantship at PSU, as well as the dissertation, and hit the road buying and selling antique furniture.

In 1976 Jeff formed a partnership with his younger brother Steve known as Herr Brothers Antiques. Steve had just graduated from PSU with a degree in business. Their interests expanded to architectural antiques: tavern back and front bars, country store interiors, mantles, stained glass, doors, balusters, you name it. Jeff purchased a property in Graysville, PA on route 45, 14 miles west of State College. This old farm implement and machinery sales and repair building became the new "shop". For the next few years they sold from this location and began purchasing local estates and house contents. Local collectors and dealers from around the country soon found a new source. The merchandise was stacked and piled up and small items were sold by the boxful. Jeff loved to buy walnut Victorian furniture and especially American Empire furniture, which no one really wanted to buy. Steve loved to buy Brunswick and Rothschild back bars.

By the late1970's, both brothers began to claim that the other was studying to be an astronaut and taking up space. (Not altogether untrue in both cases....) A joint decision as made at ground control to dissolve Herr Brothers Antiques. Steve went to work for a big corporation in State College for a few years until he purchased the old community center in Pine Grove Mills, renovated it and opened the Old Oak Tavern and restaurant, which he operates successfully to this day. Jeff continued to buy and sell furniture with a greater emphasis on country and period furniture. Jeff embraced the logo "Quality Furniture of all Periods and Styles". Although his interest and emphasis on certain periods and styles has changed over the years, the keyword Quality has always been one of the most important aspects of his inventory.

In 1980 Jeff decided to move back to his native Lancaster County. He purchased the 1754 Checkerboard House in Brickerville on route 322. The landmark house had been uninhabited for many decades and became a slow restoration project. The antique business operated from the white house next to the Clay Bookstore on route 322 and the limestone Clay Mill on Clay Road. The operation continued on a wholesale, by chance or appointment basis from these buildings until Jeff purchased the historic 1757 Compass Mill in Lititz, PA in 1986. Although the business remained primarily wholesale, this mill was open to the public on a regular basis. During this time period Jeff began picking and selling English and Continental furniture to buyers from England and Europe. He developed a taste for and appreciation of quality European furniture and decorative items and made buying trips to England, Holland, Belgium and France. He loved the furniture that "translated" to American Empire and Victorian sub-styles. Still does....

In 1989 the Compass Mill and property were sold to satisfy the financial demands of a divorce and Jeff moved back to the mill in Clay and a warehouse in Ephrata. He continued selling a wide variety and quantity of antique furniture from these locations, mainly to dealers from around the world. Jeff has always had a loyal following of local collectors and investors as well.

Another major change occurred in 1994 when Jeff sold the Checkerboard House and in 1996 purchased Frog Hollow Farm in northern Lebanon County PA. Here he operated from the outbuildings and a 6000 square foot Warehouse nearby. The Warehouse business is strictly by appointment.

As always, Jeff's inventory includes a variety and quantity of traditional and unusual items from 18th century American and European furniture to local Victorian era country pieces. A clientele of auctioneers, decorators, retailers, other wholesalers and collectors has enabled Jeff to offer a variety of furniture on many different levels.

If you are reading this you are aware that the World Wide Web has taken the antique business to global proportions and accessibility in a short time-period. With this direction, Jeffrey B. Herr Antiques, Inc. has purchased one of Lebanon city's historic firehouses to use as an office and showcase for items featured on this website. Although Jeff intends to continue selling any or all of these items to his current customer base, this website will offer new customers the opportunity to develop business associations and purchases from Jeffrey B. Herr Antiques, Inc. And Jeff will continue to be a dealer's dealer!

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