Bruce County is well known for its commercial furniture manufacturers. Operating just before the rise of the great furniture factories, were several skilled furniture makers. Often these makers had other occupations and created pieces for family members and close friends. The bonnet chest pictured, was made by John P. Klempp. Born in 1852, Klempp, was a cabinet maker who came to the area in the late 1860s, and settled in Carlsruhe. Though by 1880 Klempp had given up his trade, and operated a hotel in Neustadt, and later one in Walkerton, he continued to make furniture for his family. It is not known who this piece was made for, or when it was made, but it was passed down through members of the Klempp family and bears his name as maker.
Other early furniture makers represented in the online collection are Peter Bartleman, Frederick Weigel, and an unknown artist.