Founded by Hugh Smead in 1954, Smead Woodcraft is nationally known for their fine items made from all Vermont hardwoods.
Hugh Smead was stricken late in life with polio and became paralyzed from the waist down. He was unable to keep his job at Putney’s Basketville, but he hadn’t lost his talents at woodworking. A local church fundraiser helped the family build a specially designed workshop behind their home on Putney Road. Working at tables low enough to accommodate his wheelchair, he began producing a small line of cutting boards and other kitchen implements. His wife Laura functioned as traveling saleswoman and after a few years their unique family business began to take off.
Today, Hugh’s son, Don Smead, runs the business and other family members pitch in. Although the shop is fully mechanized, all the work is done by hand and an individual family member oversees each process.
The River Artisans Cooperative is located in the center of Saxtons River on Main Street, across from the Saxtons River Inn. The shop displays the work of about 50 local artisans and new craftspeople are always welcome. For more information call 802-869-2099 – or stop by and say “Hello!”