GENESEE COUNTY (WJRT) - (09/28/16) - A century ago, General Motors was expanding rapidly and the population of Flint was about 90,000 and growing.
Three brothers thought it would be a great time to start a lumber yard. One hundred years later, Michigan Lumber is still around.
Much of the wood that was used to build Flint and surrounding communities came from Michigan Lumber. The business on Flint's south side is still owned by the same family that started it.
"We had my grandfather and his two brothers started the business back in 1916. Basically selling lumber, delivering with horses and a wagon," said Chuck Olson, Michigan Lumber president.
While the lumber yard is bigger than it was 100 years ago, some things don't change.
"Our office is actually the same building that my grandfather was in back in 1916. We've put a few additions on to that office," Olson said.
Rugged beams show signs of being in place for 100 years.
Michigan Lumber sells wood and other construction material throughout the area.
"We probably cover about a 60 mile radius down to Detroit, Lansing, Saginaw, out to Port Huron," Olson said.
An anniversary ceremony was held by the Flint and Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce and a centennial plaque from the Historical Society of Michigan was unveiled. The celebration brought back long time customers and former employees.
Alden Howay's father worked there, as did Alden. His son Tom still does.
While those in the construction industry know where Michigan Lumber is, there are many who have never seen it because it's tucked away on a side street a block east of South Saginaw.
"It's amazing. People come in every week, didn't realize we were here and yet we've been here 100 years," Olson said.
When Michigan Lumber first opened, they sold coal, but they dropped that about 60 years ago.