Allen Lumber Company is one of the oldest family owned businesses in the state of Vermont, getting its start during the building boom of the late nineteenth century, brought on by the flood of immigrants drawn to Central Vermont by Barre's fledgling granite industry.
It was 1888 when Stillman Allen, along with a cousin, founded the Allen Lumber Company in an old general store in Barre. It was six short years later when according to Barre's Historical Souvenir, Allen Lumber had in the last three years-without doubt sold more lumber than any other retailer in the state. Stillman Allen would take his company into the next century, until his retirement in 1918, where for a short time the company was owned by his nephew, Claron Allen.
However, it was destined to be Claron's son, Loren who would be the next important figure in the company's history. After his father's death, 19 year old Loren took control of the company, and would be in the thick of running it for the next 60 years.
It was during Loren Allen's control that the company relocated to its present site on 502 North Main Street in Barre, and managed its way through its first real setback -- the flood of 1927. The next year, in 1928, Allen Lumber's first expansion took place with the opening of the Montpelier Branch.
Bob Allen became president of the company in 1970, and took complete control when his father retired in 1978, and guided the company through its next expansion... the Waitsfield Lumberyard in 1983, and the building boom of the early eighties. In 1984 Bob turned the operation of the company to the next generation of Allens -- his five sons.
All five brothers have an active role in today's Allen Lumber Company. Gary Allen serves as president, Burnie as treasurer, Paul and Tom as vice-presidents, and Steven as the company's secretary. In addition to being officers of the company, each brother handles a different segment of the company's day-to-day operation.
The five brothers have taken the company through the remainder of the eighties, through the nineties, and into the next century. The business has grown significantly, with the company serving homeowners as well as contractors. The number of employees has increased considerably, and the company's truck fleet has multiplied dramatically including the acquisition of three boom trucks, which allow Allen Lumber to put materials on the job site and in place.
The brothers have brought the company to the cutting edge of the industry's technology in areas such as inventory software and computer-aided designing. When doors, windows, kitchen and bath cabinetry, countertops, and plumbing fixtures became an important part of the business, it was necessary to open the Home Showcase showrooms upstairs in all the stores to display the products. As the kitchen and bath portion of the business began to grow, it was necessary to open Allen's Kitchen & Bath Showroom in St. Johnsbury, which is a 4,000 square foot showroom with over 20 exquisite kitchen and bath displays.
So the Allen Lumber Company continues to grow, with its fifth generation of Allens at the helm, and sixth generation Allens working alongside their fathers, all following Stillman's original philosophy of quality, service, and value. Allen Lumber Company remains a vital and active member of the communities we serve. We support countless projects and activities of non-profit and community service organizations and charities, in addition to municipal projects like libraries and schools, and recreational and civic programs.