June 16, 2021

Handcrafted Furniture, Collectibles, and More Are All on Display at Cane Farm Furniture

FAMILY FOCUS: “We look forward to everyone coming to see the special collection in our showroom.” Owen (left), Carol, and Phil Cane, owners of Cane Farm Furniture in Rosemont, are proud of their longtime family business. They are shown near a country-style pine dining table with painted black legs and accents, built by Owen.

By Jean Stratton

History is on display at Cane Farm Furniture.

This longtime family business is located on 88 acres in a rustic setting at 99 Kingwood-Stockton Road, just off Route 519 in Rosemont.

It is situated on the same property that was once the site of the Cane Poultry Farm. Charles Cane established the very successful hatchery in 1927, and at one time 600,000 chicks and chickens inhabited the incubators and chicken coops located there.

The family, including Charles’ son Phil, lived in a stone farmhouse, dating to 1822, which is still standing. In 1965, the family business changed direction, when current owner Phil Cane opened a woodworking business, with an emphasis on early American reproduction and Shaker-style furniture.

Phil had enjoyed woodworking as a boy, and it grew into a business that now includes his wife and office manager Carol, and sons Owen and Christopher.

Cabinet Maker

A number of buildings formerly needed for the farm operation are now rented to other businesses, focusing on antiques, leather, handbags, design and embroidery, stone sculpture, and slipcovers, and window treatments, among others.

The Rosemont Post Office also rents a building on the property. Owen Cane, in addition to his work as a cabinet maker, handles the rental side of these businesses.

One of the buildings formerly utilized for incubating and breeding baby chicks has become the Cane Farm Furniture showroom, featuring a series of six rooms displaying not only furniture, but an extensive selection of collectibles, antiques, and accessories.

A collector will definitely enjoy the fun print of a 1920s Coca-Cola ad, featuring a flapper wearing a cloche hat tailor-made to the times. Lamps, the favored blue and white dishes, vintage books, decorative pieces, framed paintings of all kinds, including World War I and World War II aircraft, unframed vintage military prints, authentic models of World War I bi-planes, and boats — all are on display. A one-of-a-kind wooden sailing ship, featuring exceptional workmanship and attention to detail, is a very special attraction.

The showroom’s amazing collection offers a further glimpse into history with Civil War photographs. Late 1800s and early 1900s photos of school graduations are also on display, and are very popular today. A wonderful vintage ship’s clock offers the inscription: “Royal Mail Line, SS Empress of India.” A genuine propeller from a pre-jet age airplane is a conversation piece, and a recent addition to the inventory is an extensive stamp collection.

“I started collecting stamps when I was about 7 years old,” recalls Phil Cane. “I had an opportunity to bring in this collection with stamps from all over the world, from 1850 and earlier. Some are un-canceled and in mint condition from Lichtenstein.”

“My Dear Child”

Interestingly, he explains, “Until 1850, there were no stamps. The paper was folded over without an envelope, and was marked with the payment.”

In addition to the stamps, the selection offers many letters from the 19th century, including several from New Jersey.

A letter written in 1833 begins with the salutation, “My dear child,” and is a reminder that these mementos from the past belonged to real people, with real stories, and real lives.

While woodworking and cabinet-making are not as much of a focus today as in the earlier days of the business, Phil and Owen Cane still make their fine quality pieces, which now are mostly customized to order.

Splendid tables, benches, cabinets, cupboards, and more are available. A striking one-of-a-kind cherry wood sideboard with painted black accents is eye-catching, as is an intriguing three-shelved hanging cabinet, both built by Phil Cane.

He also constructed a large blanket chest, a tiger maple wall box, and wooden wine holders, among other pieces on display.

The work of Owen Cane includes a number of very handsome country-style dining tables, and he and his father also restored an antique dining table.

Pine, Cherry, and Walnut

“Typical wood for early American furniture is pine,” explains Owen Cane, “and we also use cherry and walnut as well, especially if customers request it. In addition, the furniture is often painted, as it was in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Black, brick red, and dark green were popular then.”

The furniture selection also includes desks, rocking chairs, and a number of chairs with cane and rush seats and backs. Corner cabinets are available too.

“We will also purchase interesting items from estate sales and individuals,” points out Carol Cane. “We are always interested in adding to our collection.”

The price range for the items covers a wide range — anywhere from $25 to $2,000 for furniture and everything in between.

Their business has been affected by the pandemic, of course, and also by the internet and the competition of online shopping, report the Canes, but they continue to have the support of longtime customers from all over the area.

Now that cases of the virus are decreasing, and restrictions are being lifted, they are looking forward to a new beginning.

Regular Customers

“We have met a lot of people over the years,” says Carol Cane, “and we have many regular customers, including from Princeton.”

Adds Phil Cane, “The people we meet are so interesting, and of course, I have enjoyed making the furniture. We look forward to continuing to serve our customers.”

Cane Farm Furniture’s location in rural Hunterdon County is a plus for visitors. Just outside of Stockton, the setting ensures a relaxed and un-rushed visit. The nearby Colligan Inn (famous for the wishing well in the Rodgers and Hart song, “There’s A Small Hotel”) has been a longtime Cane customer. Another reminder of the history surrounding the Cane family business and this special place.

Cane Farm Furniture is open Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 1 to 5 p.m., and by appointment. (609) 397-0606. Website: canefarmfurniture.com.