NORTH CANTON Visitors walking into the break room in Station 1 of North Canton Fire Department on Main Street are immediately drawn to the new eight-foot table donated by a Stark County business. First, the table’s wood top kind of looks like a bowling alley. Second, the size of the table is striking.
Capt. Rich Rhodes said the table weighs around 340 pounds and is 40-inches wide. The reason it may remind visitors of a bowling alley is because it’s made from wood striped out of a home bowling alley and was repurposed by Stephen Cushman of Cushman Trade Co. in Jackson Township.
"We reclaimed the wood from a bowling alley from someone’s home in the Canal Fulton Clinton area," said Cushman. "I’ve repurposed the wood for a number of items such as kitchen counter tops, a bar and about a dozen tables. There were two lanes in the home with about 138-feet of wood."
Cushman and Rhodes met for the first time when Rhodes and his wife went into the Cushman Trade Co. store on Fulton Road in Jackson Township. They were shopping for different items when they saw some of the repurposed tables on display.
"I asked Stephen how much a table would cost for the department because we didn’t have a table at the fire house," Rhodes said. "We were using a couple of round tables that we set up and I really liked the look of the tables Stephen had made. It was more money than we had in the department’s budget so we found some antique type items not being used at the fire station to see if Stephen could sell them so that we could raise money to get a table."
That’s when Stephen approached his wife about making a table and donating it to the department. They both agreed donating the table was something they wanted to do. It was delivered to the station on March 13 and Rhodes said it took four people to carry it into the station.
The epoxy used on the table was donated by Sherwin-Williams and the station’s logo applied to the top was designed, printed and donated by Mahlon Downard Jr. and his wife, Kelly, who own the Pro Art Signs in Canton Township.
Cushman said he and his wife opened their antique and repurpose store in Jackson Township in 2015. He said it started out as a second job for both but the response has been so overwhelming that it has become more of a full-time job for him. The store and his talents have been featured on Cleveland television and in other news print articles.
"I think everyone at the North Canton Fire Department appreciates the table," Cushman said. "Donating it showed that my wife and I along with others who donated parts of the table appreciate what the firefighters and paramedics do every day. They are real heroes and deserve to be appreciated."
The North Canton Fire Department employs 37 part-time and 11 full-time firefighters/paramedics. There are two station houses. Station 2 is located on Seventh Street and is manned 24 hours a day.
"This was just an awesome thing to do for the fire department," Rhodes said. "We were shocked when he told us he wanted to donate the table. We are all very happy with the table and it is serving us well."