On a typical day, hundreds of cars whizz past Woody’s Chair Shop, located a few steps away from Highway 70 West just outside of Marion. The building appears nondescript, and it is understandable why many speed right on by. For decades however, seekers of old-fashioned handmade chairs- as well as seekers of a warm welcome and a ready batch of stories- have sought refuge in Max Woody’s shop, and they have received it.
Max’s father passed away when Max was young, but his grandfather Martin Woody taught him the family trade of handcrafting custom-made ladderback chairs. He’s been at it for nearly 60 years, now with two sons following in his footsteps.
In addition to having received orders for chairs from all over the country (and beyond) and currently with a 3-5 year waiting list, Max Woody has another claim to fame. It was right here in his shop that the Friday night pickin’ parties that grew into the tradition known as Old Fort Mountain Music began. (You can watch our feature about Old Fort Mountain Music here.)