BROOKVILLE — Though Galbraith’s Furniture has closed after 117 years of business, soon residents of Brookville and beyond will have the opportunity to make new memories in the historic building on Main Street.
Jacob d’Argy and his wife Kari, the owners of the McKinney-d’Argy Funeral Home Ltd. and the G.B Carrier House Inn, recently purchased the Galbraith building, which is actually two buildings that were constructed side by side. d’Argy was initially looking to purchase one of the buildings so that he could offer a venue for funeral luncheons. However, the timing was right for owners Dave Galbraith and Ken King who decided to sell both buildings. Galbraith indicated that it was important to him that the Galbraith building, which had been in the family for two generations, find new life with a new owner. “The building is going to be used, so it’s not going to be an empty building in downtown Brookville,” he said.
How exactly the building would be used is something the d’Argys spent a lot of time considering. With an understanding of not only the impressive size of the building, but also its handsome architecture, d’Argy began to envision an event center for things like weddings, class reunions, business dinners and Christmas parties that would give people one more reason to come to, or stay in, Brookville.
“For me, it took about a week to think about it and I came up with all kinds of ideas,” d’Argy revealed. Then, recalling the moment he knew the highest and best use for the building, he said, “In my own mind, the vision was all there; it made a lot of sense. When I ran downstairs and told my wife about it, she said she had been thinking the same thing. So, it just seemed right.”
That’s when d’Argy reached out to Brad and Patty Butcher, the owners of Buff’s Ice Cream. d’Argy says he and his wife have been fans of theirs ever since Patty made their wedding cake, almost ten years ago. Along with their irresistible culinary talents, the Butchers have what d’Argy refers to as an “immaculate reputation” for their service and ability to run large events. They’ve done birthday parties, graduations, showers, funeral dinners, proms and weddings. “When people hear about the event center, they are excited. When they hear Patty and Brad are involved, they’re ecstatic,” d’Argy said. “We’re all going to work together on this.”
Butcher echoed d’Argy’s enthusiasm, saying that this is the opportunity that he and his wife were hoping for after taking two years off from event planning and catering. “The event business, catering and hosting events, is something we miss,” he admitted. “And we’re very blessed to be able to do it here in Brookville again.” He added that, in particular, he and d’Argy share the same ideas when it comes to serving the community. “We’re very involved in the community just like Jacob and Kari are,” Butcher said. “It’s really great this is something that’s going to be available for us to do. And partnering up with Jacob and Kari is just ideal.”
d’Argy has also been talking with local hair stylists, florists and photographers, to discuss some of the ways the event center could support their businesses. He added that an event center in Historic Brookville could draw people in from all over to visit. “A beautiful venue in a beautiful town, this could draw people even from Pittsburgh or Erie to come here and use our things,” he said. d’Argy hopes to extend and expand upon what he and his wife are already doing with the Carrier House, encouraging visitors to explore the area. “Say people come in for a wedding, but they’re not done yet, they can go to a restaurant or the bars or just see the things on Main Street.”
He also discussed the potential of the event center to augment time-honored traditions like the Laurel Festival and Victorian Christmas. “There’s all kinds of things we can do and you better believe we’re going to,” he emphasized.
d’Argy acknowledged that the Galbraith Furniture store was an important feature in the town and that the owners “did a beautiful job for the community.” He added that with the event center, those who appreciate the history and tradition behind the building will be able to come back again and again to make memories there.
“I want to let people know this is not the end of this building,” he explained. “There is something great coming. Kari and I and Patty and Brad, we are dedicated to this town. The event center gives us an ability to be with our friends and neighbors in a scenario that’s fun. And I make the same promise I’ve made before- as Brookville and the surrounding area continues to take care of me and my family, I promise we will try to do things to invest in the town and make it better, more fun, and safer.”