Generations of lumberjacks have relied on the iconic Snow & Nealley® axes (known for their superior craftsmanship). But when they closed their doors, these axes disappeared. Wanting to bring back this legacy, an Amish man and his sons bought the company. Now all the axes are 100% made in the USA, continuing the tradition that started in 1864.
Since 1864, American-made axes have been made in Maine by Snow and Nealley®, a company that built an iconic following over more than 150 years. Nowadays, the company name is the same, but the owners are…Amish.
“That’s right,” confirmed Chris, who calls himself “the chief cook and bottlewasher here”, with a laugh. “The business was purchased by the family, and we’re forging and assembling axes right here, just like it used to be.” (He’s asked us not to publish his last name, and we’ve agreed.)
There are 6 to 7 employees working full time on any given day, he notes. With a staff that small, it’s easy to see how each can have multiple roles. Chris himself is responsible for sales and shipping, including the company’s brochures and outside communications.
“In our busy season, we can easily double,” Chris says, “and surprisingly enough, we have been busy already this year.” The high quality Hudson Bay axe is the top seller for the brand, followed closely by the Penobscot, both available at Lehman’s.
“The heads are drop forged right here in the US. The previous owner, before we bought the place, he had to go overseas. But we were able to bring that back, and now each axe is forged and finished in America. Right here, we finish the heads, temper them and sharpen them, so they’re ready to go as soon as you take the leather cover off the blade.”
Here at Lehman’s, we’re proud to work with the folks at Snow and Nealley®, selling solid, USA-made goods that are designed for a lifetime–and more– of use. “I’m thinking about putting a line in our next brochure,” Chris says, “‘Snow and Nealley axes: do you have one for your grandchild?'”
“You know,” he says, “that’s why we came back to US forging. We like American-made and we like a good quality product that we can feel good about.”
Editor’s Note: First published in May 2015.