A native of Penn Yan, New York, George L. Barden teamed up with Roscoe
J. Robeson in 1909 to produce spokes and hubs for wagon wheels. In
1911, the Barden & Robeson Corporation switched to the production
of bushel baskets for the fruit growing trade throughout the Finger
lakes region. Business flourished, and during the '20's, wicker baby
furniture was added to the company's product line.
The next change to occur in the product line came about during World
War II, when the decision was made to put bushel basket and furniture
production on hold and assist the US government by assembling ammunition
With the advent of peace, bushel basket and furniture production returned.
The combination of having three plants (Penn Yan, Middleport and Lockport),
a surplus of lumber from the ammunition boxes, and the US government's
push for rapid housing in America, prompted the Barden & Robeson
Corporation to introduce its brand new, state-of-the-art product,
Before long, both the Penn Yan and Middleport plants were producing
Barden Homes. Bushel basket and furniture production began a slow decline,
while the pre-engineered housing business grew so quickly that by 1968,
the company opened another production facility in Homer, New York.
By the year 2003, the company maintains a network of over 200 independent
dealers, and handles residential and light commercial markets in over
By this time, three generations of Bardens’, G.L. Barden and
his son, Bryce, and Bryce's sons, Rick, Tom, and Bob Gelder, a long
time family friend, helped steer the company towards what it is today.
Now the forth generation has stepped into the forefront, Rick's son
Mark is vice president, Tom's son Eric is vice president of Sales,
and Bob Gelder's son Tim is also vice president and treasurer. Although
Barden Homes has a bright future with the fifth generation started,
the company did suffer some blows in 1999 and 2000 with the losses
of Tom and Bryce Barden. Their memories and contributions will not
soon be forgotten.