By Heather Hintze
EUGENE, Ore. – One Eugene craftsman has had sweeping success in the movie industry, with his products ending up in the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter series.
Thurman Scheumack started making brooms nearly three decades ago in Arkansas. He brought the trade to Eugene and set up his company in an old broom shop on near 2nd and Blair.
“I’ve raised four kids just making brooms,” says Scheumack.
The foundry marks from 1878 can still be seen on the tools workers used today to make the brooms. “The process, the tools, the techniques, the materials date back to the mid-1800′s and earlier.” Says Scheumack.
Scheumack says his crew does every aspect of the work themselves, “We annually go back to the Ozark Mountains where we work with local farmers there to harvest the woods. Most of it is sassafrass wood. The only fibers we use are broomcorn.”
Seth Harmen–who describes himself as a Broom Maker Extraordinare–calls the brooms, “Old school and rustic. They don’t make ‘em like this anymore.”
Annually the company sells about 7,000 brooms. Right now they’re preparing for the Oregon Country Fair where they typically sell about 500 over the course of three days.
“I think one reason we’ve done so well is people are so hyper-aware of buying local.” Says Scheumack.
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