Left to right: Mark Bear, his son Nathan,  and his brothers Tim and Greg talk about the family’s Bear Furniture Gallery which was honored on its 50th anniversary Friday. Madison Mayor Damon Welch presented two proclamations — one from his office, the other from the office of Gov. Mitch Daniels — congratulating the Bear family on the business milestone. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie)
Left to right: Mark Bear, his son Nathan, and his brothers Tim and Greg talk about the family’s Bear Furniture Gallery which was honored on its 50th anniversary Friday. Madison Mayor Damon Welch presented two proclamations — one from his office, the other from the office of Gov. Mitch Daniels — congratulating the Bear family on the business milestone. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie)
After reaching its landmark 50th year in the community, family-owned Bear's Furniture Gallery has received recognition from the city of Madison and the governor's office.

Mayor Damon Welch presented owners Mark, Tim and Greg Bear with the award during a ceremony at the hilltop business Friday morning.

The business was started in 1962 by Ted Bear - Mark, Tim and Greg's grandfather. Before that, the building at 1332 Clifty Drive, was a roller skating rink and bowling alley.

In a written proclamation, Mark Bear was named a distinguished Hoosier by Gov. Mitch Daniels, and the city of Madison declared Bear's Furniture a distinguished business.

"Congratulations on the first 50 years, and I wish you well for the next 50 years and beyond," Welch read in his proclamation.

Mark Bear attributed their success to the community, which he said has supported the business since the beginning.

He has been at the store for 30 years, and has seen generations of families shop there for furniture. His son, Nathan, now also works for the family business.

"I think the public gets a bad rap sometimes for not shopping locally, but in our case, they keep coming back," he said.

In the future, Bear said he would like to see the business expand its store front and gallery floor.

He said he learned about the recognition last week, and that he's happy to share the honor with his family and Madison residents.

"Sometimes southern Indiana, we're not always quite on the map, but for (the governor's office) to pay attention to us down here ... it's quite the honor," Bear said.