The last story about Robnett’s Hardware store prompted this look at another Corvallis store that has stayed in the same family for several generations, Blackledge Furniture. This store was founded by Oliver J. Blackledge, who came to Oregon from Iowa in the 1890s and opened the store in 1901. The store was located at 334 SW Second Street (on the west side of the street between Adams and Jefferson).
In 1923, the store was enlarged by constructing an addition to the south.
After the construction was complete, the store had a different facade.
As the signs on the building indicate, the store sold more than furniture; it also sold musical instruments, wallpaper, and window shades. In addition, the store provided the services of an undertaker. That might seem strange, but it was a common practice back then as carpenters built both furniture and coffins. Over time, Blackledge Furniture ceased undertaking and selling musical instruments but added the sale of appliances such as radios and dishwasher and expanded its paint selection.
Throughout these many changes, the store remained in the Blackledge family. The current owners are Eric and Judy Blackledge. Eric is Oliver’s great grandson. Unlike Robnett’s Hardware, Blackledge Furniture did not stay in its original location. In 1970, the Blackledges moved the store to a new location at the northeast corner of Second and Jefferson. The new location provided more space to showcase an expanded selection of furniture.