Monday, January 26, 2009

The Big Sleep

After 85 years, Peerless Mattress calls it quits in Flint.

Bryn Mickle of The Flint Journal reports:

"The company was founded in 1924 by two brothers in Flint, who five years later sold half of the company to Charlie Pemberton.

"Pemberton brought his nephew, James, into the company in 1952.

"In its early years, Peerless focused mainly on making and selling mattresses. It eventually expanded to include furniture -- a result of a growing need for household furnishings as the area's population expanded with the automotive boom.

"The store was a fixture of downtown Flint for decades before it was gutted by fire in 1995, two years after it opened a store in Lansing.

"The 1995 fire was blamed on a mentally ill woman and destroyed about $500,000 worth of furniture.

"Company officials opted against rebuilding in Flint and instead built a second facility in Flint Township."


  1. As a customer of the store, I am sorry to see it go.

  2. Ditto. My family has purchased many pieces from Peerless over the years. How unfortunate.

  3. It is sad to see the demise of businesses like these who have been vested in Flint for many years. Sad...very sad.

  4. In 2010 the Lansing factory after getting calls daily opened a retail store front, only selling Peerless Mattresses, on miller ex I. Flint

  5. The mattress side is still going and still Michigan made.


Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at