Did you know that Kretz Lumber Company’s roots go all the way back to 1929? Kretz Lumber was founded by Joseph and Myrtle Kretz on the site of their dairy farm in 1929. That year they cut hemlock trees from the farm’s property, stripped the bark, and sold it to a local tannery. Having the logs leftover, the dairy barn needed repair, so they bought a portable sawmill from a “farmer up the road” for $75. As word got around the neighborhood the Kretz family was running a sawmill, other farmers from the community brought their logs to the Kretz family to be sawn into lumber for their own use. The picture above are three of the Kretz family members and that portable mill.
Having success with the portable sawmill, the family built a permanent sawmill at the same location of the farm. Through wise business decisions the Kretz family survived the Great Depression in the lumber business. Joseph and Myrtle succeeded the business to their three boys in the 1960’s. A grandchild, Dan Kretz, took the reins of the operation in 1973 and ran the business until 2006.
In 2016, Kretz Lumber produces 9,000,000 board feet of North American hardwood lumber that includes species like; hard maple, soft maple, red oak and basswood through their sawmill in a year. It also kiln dry’s 12,000,000 board feet of these same northern hardwoods and sells its products nationally and internationally.