The Boat Building Shop, which houses my workshop and a display room of furniture

I can remember almost 25 years ago, walking into the old vine-covered shop where my grandfather had built and stored boats before 1952. I remember my uncle also worked in the cluttered shop that was filled with old machines and hand tools.

Mix all of these memories with a love of building fine period museum reproductions, and it has become a life's work of learning and hard won satisfaction. I am very fortunate.

Having a business degree is not necessarily consistent with furniture and clock making, but when you walk into an early 1900s boat building shop your grandfather owned, it's hard to keep your heart and hands off the tools of his trade.

Interior of My Workshop

Among my credits over the past twenty-five years are

- I have twice been named to Early American Life Magazine's 200 Best Craftsmen in America.

- I was recently featured on the NECN (the New England Cable Network) "New England Dream House" program, where I demonstrated the building of a grandfather clock.

- I have been the subject of numerous newspaper and magazine articles from the Boston and New England areas.

- I was chosen to build reproduction period furniture for the Massachusetts State House Senate Reception Halls.

- My furniture graces some of the most beautiful homes across America.

JOHN R. SULLIVAN

From a historical reserach survey provided by McGinley Hart and Associates, Architects and Preservation Planners:

"Starling Boat Co. (now Starling Furniture) is a rare survivor of boat building tradition which has continued at this site since at least the eighteenth century. The interior has a remarkably intact 1920's office and the 1880's portion retains its decorative verge board and framing. It is certainly worthy of preservation and/or recordation by the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) or the Historical American Engineering Record (HAER) as a rare remnant of the vanishing wooden boat-building industry."

 

 

 

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