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Former Daystrom workers to reunite

Daystrom Furniture of South Boston manufactured dinette sets, buffets, hutches and other furniture for untold numbers of consumers from 1962-1996.

 

For thousands of its employees, it provided a chance to live the American dream by providing jobs in what once was a solid manufacturing economy in Southern Virginia.

A 50th anniversary reunion is set for Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. at Edmunds Park in South Boston to celebrate what Daystrom meant to Halifax County and its residents.

 Francis Piechota, Daystrom’s second president who was instrumental in getting the company to move here from Olean, New York, will be the keynote speaker at Saturday’s reunion.

Piechota was instrumental in choosing the South Boston location over several other locations in North Carolina, South Carolina and West Virginia.

Daystrom, whose name derives from the last names of its two founders, Daymen and Brunstrum, got its start in Olean, N.Y. in 1934.

Daystrom became a successful manufacturer of metal ashtrays before beginning to manufacture high-line chromium kitchen furniture, upholstered stools and chairs in 1938.

The Olean plant was shut down in February of 1962 and was relocated to South Boston operating under the name of Daystrom Furniture.

Shortly after its move to South Boston, Schlumberger Ltd. purchased the company.

At the height of its operations, Daystrom employed approximately 900 factory employees, 100 supervisory and office workers and had built four additions to the original building.

Sperry and Hutchinson purchased Daystrom in 1971.

LADD Furniture Inc. purchased Daystrom in 1981.  LADD Furniture was named for the four furniture companies from which it was built, Lea Industries, American Furniture, Daystrom Furniture and Drew Furniture.

Six men served as president of Daystrom while it was in operation in South Boston including Larry Alles, Francis Piechota, Calvin Raney, Stuart Switzer, Bob Keith and Jerry Grubbs.

LADD made the decision to close Daystrom Furniture in 1996.