Steury Boat Company
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The Steury Boat Company was founded in 1956 in Goshen, IN by two brothers, Edwin "Bud" and Virgil Steury. The founding date was comfirmed in an interview with Edwin "Bud" Steury several years later. The company was originally founded as a winter sideline operation for their farm fertilizer business. Boats were built out of their garage where they stored their fertilizer trucks. In 1964 operations were moved to a new 140-by-168 foot boat plant and 96-by-140 foot warehouse on Vernon street in Goshen. An article written for the Goshen News on March 13, 1969 details Steury's building expansion throughout the 1960's quite nicely. Steury boats were very well built and several still exist today after almost 50 years.
In 1966 Steury entered the camping trailer market. A new building, 140 by 192 square feet, was constructed for this purpose. It was also around this time that Mr. and Mrs. Virgil Steury founded Veada Industries located in New Paris, IN. Veada Industries manufactured high quality boat cushions and canvas tops for the boats and trailers. I'm assuming they also manufactured the canvas sides for the camping trailers. Veada Industries is still in existence today and is still family owned. And they still manufacture custom marine seating among other marine products. By 1971 Steury had entered the travel trailer and truck camper markets as well.
Steury's first model lineup included the Supreme 800 and 400. Both trailers featured one-piece molded fiberglass roof with a seamless skylight, outside access to a trunk for storage, canvas sides with stripes (dull green and white), and patented spring-loaded arms that were mounted on the outside. Already well established in the boat industry Steury's camping trailers were well-built and quickly achieved acceptance in the market place. The Supreme 400 model was essentially the same as the Supreme 800 model but minus the two pull-out beds on the ends.
On August 13, 1970 Virgil Steury applied for a patent for a drive assembly to raise the camper top on telescoping poles, as apposed to the spring-loaded arms. He was granted US Patent 3,674,305 on July 4, 1972. In the years following clear up until the 21st century several follow-up patents were granted as well. At the time of this writing I have no clear knowledge regarding the issue, but it appears there was some legal wrangling over patent validity between Bontrager of Jayco and the Steury Corporation (see 624 F.2d 1103 for reference). This is typical within any industry though.
Finding information for the Steury Corporation during the 1970's has proven frustrating. As of this writing I have not found any advertisements or brochures for anything past 1973. And I can not find any information regarding business activities. If you have any of the above stated please contact me.
Steury Corporation was sold in 1979 to Roper-Wright. One week following the sale the new owners shut down operations and closed the plants. Debt was set at 2.7 million dollars. Later Coachmen Industries of Middlebury bought the plant and moved the Viking Boat manufacturing operations there. If my records are correct they are still there today. The Steury brothers remained active in other business pursuits and interest.
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