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The Heritage of Woodworking in Nappanee, Indiana

In November of 1875, less than a year after the B&O Railroad crossed Indiana, seven sawmills and woodworking shops were in business in what became the town of Nappanee. This honor roll of firms were full of the future...

  • Joseph Strohm's Planing Mill and Box Factory
  • Saw & Paining Mill of Frank Zinn & Co.
  • Paining Mill of Nathan Spencer
  • Saw Mill of J.C. Mellinger & Co.
  • Good & Shrock Sawmill
  • Volkman Brothers
  • Stave & Heading Manufactory of Nettrouer Brothers
  • Shingle Factory of Levi Holdeman

From these beginnings an industry dedicated to the manufacturer of hardwood kitchen cabinets eventually emerged which made Nappanee and Coppes and Mutschler household names from coast to coast. Strohm sold out to Spencer and Eshenbaugh sold out to Coppes Bros., who were joined by Mutschler Bros., which became Coppes Napanee Kitchens and Mutschler Kitchens. Both firms were sold by the families in the 1960's. Coppes remains in business in the original factory and showroom.