Purchased by friends pooling their money in February 2017, the renovated building will continue the late Mac Moulden’s legacy, providing shared studio space for woodworking, in addition to textiles, printing, and community meeting space. The building will be the new home of the Glenn Carter Memorial Toolshare, Midwest Pages to Prisoners Project and The Neighborhood Planting Project.
The Godsey Cabinet Shop
In the early 1920’s, Carl Godsey, an employee at the nearby Showers Furniture Factory, began building and repairing custom furniture in the family wash-shed beside his home at 12th and Jackson, adding to the building little by little as the business grew. Carl’s wife Fannie soon took in other Showers workers as boarders in the home, one of whom — a young veneer installer named Guy Moulden — married their daughter Thelma and joined Carl in the off-hours business.
In 1932, Carl and his new son-in-law Guy officially opened the Godsey Cabinet Shop together at the expanded wash-shed, which soon became a landing spot for skilled craftsmen eager to do work that was more artisanal than Showers’ mass production. (“Cabinet maker” at that time meant anyone who built case goods or furniture, not just the kitchen cabinet fixtures we think of today.) Guy’s youngest son Mac would later say that he grew up in that shop, playing soldiers with his older brothers under the floorboards and, by his early teens, helping his father and grandfather with stripping and sanding. After his father’s death in 1968, Mac moved back to Bloomington from Washington DC and ran the family business continuously for 48 years with his close friend Michael Lester until his own death in 2016.
We’ve been told that the Godsey Cabinet Shop built or repaired thousands of one-of-a-kind pieces over these years, including the Japanese emperor’s bed at Indiana University, the Lincoln Desk at the Lilly Library, a Revolutionary War chest full of bullet holes, and Herman Well’s personal home furniture. Mac’s legacy lives on through his work and these stories that we continue to tell.
The 2018 Neighborhood Planting Project was the shared work of neighbors on the west-side of Bloomington — in our first year of the project we gave away more than 1000 fruit trees and bushes, mostly planting them in yards and shared spaces in the Crestmont, Waterman, Maple Heights, and Trailview neighborhoods, and giving the rest away to farmers and gardeners in Monroe and surrounding counties. Thanks to everyone that helped make it happen!
We’ve got big things planned for next year — involving more neighborhoods, a class at Harmony School, an Ellettsville orchard … and hundreds more trees and bushes to share
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