Gardner is a young city compared to others in the Bay State. Gardner was founded in 1785, but did not become a city until 1923. It is proud home to just under 21 thousand people. Often called “the furniture capital of New England” and promoted as such, Gardner has a rich furniture heritage. Gardner was actually named in honor of Colonel Thomas Gardner. The famous big chair in the photo at left is the latest of several chairs created during Gardner’s history. The chair at top was featured in a 1906 postcard when Gardner will still a town. Numerous furniture outlets exist in the Greater Gardner area. Some furniture manufacturing is still done locally. Gardner has a total land area of about 23 square miles.