Treasured Times offering quality handmade furniture
By Ryan Peverly
Pardon the word play, but John Hand didn’t always make furniture by hand.
An aerospace engineer for 25 years, Hand left the corporate world three years ago for a simpler, family-oriented life. That meant giving up a good job and good money to be closer to his and his wife Lisa’s families, while raising their own children in a home that put God and family before anything else.
That was nearly 20 years ago. Now, Hand is ready for his next venture.
Enter Treasured Times Wood Works and Country Store, a family owned and operated business that makes furniture and clocks the old-fashioned way — from scratch. Or, by hand, if you’re into that whole word play thing.
Hand has enlisted the help of his friend, Everett Moore, who has 40 years of furniture-making and woodworking experience, and his two sons, Samuel and Joseph. John was inspired by the woodworking and manufacturing community that is Holmes County — Amish Country, to those of you who have made the nearly 200-mile trek.
“I’ve really studied the businesses in Holmes County the last 5 years to understand why they did what they did. They used to be a farming community, but about 25 years ago they evolved into a wood manufacturing business because they couldn’t support their families on the land. There’s over 400 of them in that area,” Hand said.
“So we went up there and got to meet a lot of folks who were kind enough to open their shops to us and show us what they did and answered any questions we had.”
Closer to home, they visited local woodworking operations, to get a better understanding of woodshop layout, equipment, suppliers, etc., according to John.
“There are numerous local cabinet and cabinet door woodshops,” John explained. “But no woodworking shops which concentrated on furniture and clock-making.”
Hope and Moore are hoping to fill a niche market long-absent in Preble County and surrounding areas.
Treasured Times is located on a 10-acre property between West Alexandria and Gratis. The property was built in 1819 by Franklin N. Fudge, and local lore says tunnels from the days of the Underground Railroad run underneath the property. Hand’s house sits on one side of the property, where a country store is in its beginning stages, and the woodworking shop is on the other side in an old barn.
That old-time atmosphere is only part of the allure of Treasured Times. The rest of it comes from the craftsmanship and intimate detail put into its furniture — cupholders and magazine racks in porch swings, tables that extend to what seems like 20 feet, and refurbished antique chairs that look as if they were just made new.
Hand said the business idea originally came from what he saw as a need for quality furniture that could be made better than something two or three times as expensive.
“I think there’s a need in the area, I really do. We go out to stores and see things that come in from offshore manufacturers. It may look good, but it’s cheap and will fall apart in time. I thought, can we do better? And I think we can,” Hand said.
Treasured Times offers heirloom quality, custom handcrafted hardwood furniture, as well as reproductions and restorations. The store sells handcrafted furniture, clocks, wind chimes and books, among other things. The business operates under the motto “Quality, Delivery, Trust.”
Treasured Times is located at 6417 Enterprise Road, West Alexandria. Hours are by appointment only. Call (937) 787‑9663 to schedule an appointment.
Ryan Peverly is a staff writer at The Register-Herald in Eaton.