Editor's note: This is the 161st in a series of articles recalling vanished Huntington scenes.
HUNTINGTON - The Carolina Lumber Co. was founded in 1905 by three brothers, Arthur, Thomas and Phil Snider, who were lumber and coal operators from Mount Hope, West Virginia. George J. Dickerson, also from Mount Hope, was the new company's general manger. He later would leave to start his own firm, the Dickerson Lumber Co.
The company's first mill was built on 7th Avenue between 8th and 9th streets along the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway tracks. The C&O later purchased the property and dismantled the mill. The company then located a mill and yard at 204 21st St. and later established a hardware and paint store at 2027 3rd Ave.
Denver C. Thompson came to Huntington from Madison, West Virginia, and started working for Carolina Lumber in 1917 when it was still located on 7th Avenue. He started out as a bookkeeper, advanced to manager and in 1940 bought the business. He often recalled that when he joined the company, the firm was making deliveries in a wagon powered by a pair of mules.
With Thompson as president, the firm grew rapidly and opened branches in 21 communities in the region, stretching from Portsmouth, Ohio, to Danville in Boone County, West Virginia. The two mules had long since been retired and replaced by a fleet of 20 delivery trucks.
In addition to lumber, the company sold insulation, dry wall, paneling, floor tile and ceiling tile, plumbing and electrical supplies, and even household appliances. "Everything to Build Anything" was long a company motto.
In the 1960s, the firm was doing $4 million a year in business, but by the early 1970s its sales had declined to a fraction of that. In March 1973, Thompson, then 79 years old, announced he was reluctantly closing because he couldn't find anyone to take over the operation.
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