Schewels is headquartered in Lynchburg, Virginia, the central Virginia community where Elias Schewel began the business in 1897 selling picture frames, chair bottoms, and other small furniture items from a horse-drawn wagon. The first permanent location was just a block from the building which now houses Schewels corporate offices as well as the company's oldest retail store.
Schewels was incorporated in 1917. Schewels operated out of a single location for over 30 years, opening its second store in 1930 in Harrisonburg, VA. Growth was conservative for the next 75 years, with 12 stores comprising the chain in 1972. Beginning about that time and continuing into the present, growth became more aggressive, with almost three dozen new locations opening from 1990 until 2001.
Schewels is one of only four furniture retailers in the United States with 100 years of continuous operation under the same name and family management.