The area around Falls Road and Twelfth Avenue was originally known as Milwaukee Falls. The location of the dam and millrace, which were removed in 2000, attracted several manufacturers through the years. A chair factory was built in 1848, the same year Wisconsin became a state. It continued to operate as a furniture manufacturer until 1873. In 1893, the Sheboygan Knitting Co. began producing yarn in the plant for its parent firm, the Wisconsin Chair Co. of Port Washington, which was established in 1888.
The factory was known by a variety of names during its existence, including the Milwaukee Chair Co. and the Northern Chair Co. By the early 1900s, the plant was turning out more than 40 dozen chairs daily. Several large boarding houses on Falls Road provided living quarters for the workers.
The Great Depression forced the company to discontinue leasing recording studios in New York and Chicago. Instead, it operated its own Grafton studio from 1929 to 1932. Hundreds of Wisconsin and out-of-state musicians recorded here. Among them were blues legends such as Charlie Patton, Skip James, Blind Blake, Son House, Willie Brown, and Big Bill Broonzy.
The last record was made in July 1932 by the Mississippi Sheiks. The building was demolished in 1938.