Celebrating Over 100 Years of History
In 1906, Edward A. Konantz, owner of Citizen’s Lumber Company of Bow Bells, North Dakota, joined forces with Charles Lee, appointed as General Manager, and started North American Lumber and Supply Company (Limited).
The conditions for the establishment of a lumber company were excellent, with a strong economic climate and the building of the Grand Trunk Railway across the Prairies offering the means by which outlets could be supplied.
The partners opened their first lumberyard in Rivers, Manitoba, in 1907. By the fall of 1908, the partners had established 16 more yards, with a total of 19 yards in place by the spring of 1909.
During WWI, North American Lumber developed a publication entitled “Chieftain- A Magazine of Inspiration for the Home Builder.” It contained information about the building industry, as well as about North American Lumber products, providing an important link between customers, managers and head office.
The lumberyard in Stonewall was purchased in 1921, along with locations at Winnipeg Beach and Selkirk in 1926. In the late ‘20s, North American Lumber purchased the Head and Shannon Lumber Company in Winnipeg’s Transcona neighbourhood, becoming North American Lumber’s first “city yard.”
North American Lumber suffered through the Great Depression along with the rest of Canada, with the rural yards hit the hardest, but by 1936, 56 yards had survived the worst part of the depression.
During the Second World War the Department of National War Services placed many restrictions on what North American Lumber could sell or use, but the company prospered as many farmers were able to invest in new barns, storage sheds and houses, rather than buying machinery or land.
Through the ‘40s and ‘50s, North American Lumber continued to grow and diversify, meeting the ever changing needs of post-war society, and purchasing several yards in Saskatchewan and rural Manitoba. In 1948, North American Lumber opened the Carberry yard. In 1954 the company purchased the Minnedosa yard from the Valley Lumber company and the Brandon yard from Wade Lumber. The pre-fabrication plant that began in the 1940s in Winnipeg prospered, as the demand for housing in Canada increased. North American Lumber made a great contribution through the extensive development of the “Ezy-Built” business- garages, cottages, homes and farm buildings. The company also diversified into the construction industry with the founding of a new division – Ready-Mix Concrete.
In 1966, North American Lumber and Supply Company (Limited) and Citizen’s Lumber Company (Limited) amalgamated to form North American Lumber Limited.
The mobile and modular home industry expanded throughout the ‘60s and ‘70s to meet an increasing need for housing in rural areas. North American Homes Sales continued to serve this market with sales offices in Lockport, Brandon, Reston and Warren.
Today the company employs over 200 people in a variety of related sales and service companies including North American Lumber, North American Homes Sales, Ready-Mix Concrete, and Pre-fab Truss factory. We celebrated our 100th anniversary and maintain our commitment to growth and diversification.