BY RYAN SPELTS
What started as a sawmill in 1908, has become a quality lumber family business.
In 1908, Wheelwright Lumber was established and primarily operated as a sawmill by Thomas and Solomon Wheelwright. Their location was between 24th and 25th street on Quincy. Eventually, they realized that they could do more business by carrying pre-milled lumber and being a local lumber supplier. They were at the Quincy Avenue location from 1908 until 2004. They had two acres, and just simply ran out of space as demand grew for additional products. The Wheelwright family has owned and operated the business from day one and continue to do so today. Paul Wheelwright is the current president and was brought up in the business by his father, Hal. When Paul’s son Trevor eventually takes over, he will be the 5th generation Wheelwright to run the business in its 112-year history.
In the early 2000’s, Paul knew they needed more space and wanted to find a place where they could have a rail spur that could come directly into their yard. As you might guess, rail spurs are not a commonly-requested feature for a property, and at first they struggled to find one with that option. They found their current location off of Midland Drive, built their current building and moved into the space in 2004. Today they own 12 acres of land, presently using more than half of the acreage presently owned and the family informed us that they will begin expanding their covered -storage area in the next couple of years, in order to utilize the rest of the space.
Wheelwright has always been known for their quality lumber. They choose not to carry the lowest grade lumber and to go up at least one grade in lumber in every size. They are able to stay competitive on pricing due to the rail spur. The spur allows them to purchase lumber directly and deliver it at the lowest cost. So, for close to the same price as the lower grade lumber sold at other lumber yards, Wheelwright can sell a better grade product. Paul estimates that they have unloaded more than 300 rail cars full of lumber this year.
Wheelwright Lumber carries large supplies of White fir and Douglas fir lumber. The White fir is preferred by home builders in the area because it holds up so well in our climate, while commercial builders are required to use Douglas fir, which is about 8% stronger.
Wheelwright is a large supplier to builders and contractors; however, they are also a great retail lumber yard. They sometimes get questions about whether or not they serve retail customers and the answer is yes. In fact, they love helping people get their personal projects done. They also know it can be a bit intimidating, and they are there to help get the right tools and lumber for your project.
Wheelwright is also known locally as the place to go for having doors made. They have a state-of-the-art door building shop that can produce custom sizes and can help get the right swing and jam sizes as needed by the client. Along with the door shop, they have a retail store with tools needed for almost any project. I know from personal experience that Wheelwright has had some specialty tools I needed that I couldn’t find anywhere else in town.
A family tradition and great customer service are Wheelwright’s keys to success. I know from personal experience that they will take care of you, and offer expert assistance for your upcoming home projects.
Business: Wheelwright Lumber
3127 Midland Dr. Ogden