|Exploring Indiana's Historic Sites,|
Markers & Museums
South Central Edition
The Shower Brothers opened their new Morton Street factory on August 9, 1889 after a fire wiped out their business in 1884.
Furniture and Coffins
Historians know little of the Showers Brothers other than that cabinetmaker Charles Showers migrated into Bloomington sometime in the 1850's. He established a furniture and coffin-making shop in downtown Bloomington on the square. His sons William, James, and Charles Jr. purchased the business and moved the factory to Grant Street when the noise generated by the factory's operation became bothersome to downtown residents. During the Civil War years the company built coffins for slain soldiers. Building their business around the construction of quality oak furniture, the company became an integral part of Bloomington's economy. When the factory burned down in 1884 the city provided a substantial portion of the money needed to build a new factory.
New Factory Opens
This factory opened on August 9, 1889 and grew to provide over 1200 jobs for the local economy. The company pioneered the sales of their furniture using Montgomary Ward and Sears Roebuck catalogs to expand their customer base. The company closed in 1958. One of their buildings burned in 1969. Factory 1 has been rennovated by Indiana University, CFC and the City of Bloomington in the 1990's. Showers Plaza now serves as the site for the city's farmers market, special events and The Taste of Bloomington Festival.
Interested vistors may find Walking Tour and more information at this link.
2855 N. Walnut Street
Bloomington, IN 47404