When a company has been around for more than 150 years, there’s a ton of historical documentation floating around, but it’s always exciting when a connection to the past seems to fall out of the blue. A few years ago, we received the following email:
I work at the Alpena County George N. Fletcher Public Library in Alpena, Michigan in Special Collections. I discovered the attached while working with a recent donation of papers. The Henry Gustin to whom the letter is addressed was a local attorney, real estate developer and sportsman. I thought your company would be interested in seeing a part of its history.
Attached to the email was this scan of a letter that Charles F. Orvis wrote to a customer on July 23, 1912. It seems that Mr. Gustin’s fly rod had broken at the ferrule. As you can see from Orvis’s response, customer service was already a priority 100 years ago.
The rod is repaired and will be sent the 25th
Mr. Henry B Gustin
My Dear Sir,
I have sent your rod by U.S. mail and think it will please you.
I make no charge, for the ferrule was imperfect, the fault of the workman who finished it up.
I hope to have your commands. We need orders of course. I am getting old but only 81 but active and work . . .
every day. I have two sons with me who probably will continue the business which I have
been in since 1856.
Awaiting your pleasure
I am Yours Truly
Charles F. Orvis