Helping Build Kittitas County Since 1940
If you are building your dream home or fixing a leaky faucet, we can help you with what you need. We take pride in offering our customers friendly, knowledgeable service and we look forward to working with you.
Start with a small service
Carl Knudson started a minimart of sorts – a small grocery store and gas station in the North Hill district of Puyallup. An enterprising man, Carl eventually added a lumberyard to that site. Two years later he added a custom cabinet shop and a crane shed to the lumberyard. Carl continued expanding the business to include walk-in freezer manufacturing and supplied most of the Seattle area with freezers. During the height of World War II, Carl had a difficult time finding enough lumber to run his yard. Driving into Eastern Washington, Carl “ran” into Charles Lambson. Lambson was the owner of a mill near Kittitas on the corner of South Ferguson Road. Carl and Lambson struck a deal and Carl Knudson became partners with Lambson. The benefits were two-fold: Knudson found the lumber needed to supply his Puyallup mill and it gave him a foot in the door to Eastern Washington, a place where generations of his family would live and work for years to come.
In 1946, Carl Knudson bought out the remaining interest in the Kittitas Mill for $10,000, named the business Carl Knudson Lumber, and brought Ryan’s great-grandfather Robert Knudson to the area to act as the family bookkeeper. Two years later, Carl added a custom cabinet shop, a hardware store and expanded the service capacity of the mill. Carl also became a general contractor. He sold kits for home construction and was the contractor who won the bid to build the Kittitas High School gym. But this would be the beginning of the end for the Kittitas Mill. In 1950, a portion of the mill burned, destroying valuable pieces of milling equipment. From 1950 on, the mill was plagued with small fires,” Ryan said. “That was until July 25, 1958, when the whole mill was lost to fire. The only thing left standing was the office, which was a good thing because all the books were in there, and Carl had just contracted to build Nicholson Pavilion.
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Undaunted by the loss of his mill, Carl relocated what was left of the business in 1958 to its current location on the Vantage Highway because he needed to start production of materials to build Nicholson Pavilion. Carl partnered with Free Fetter at the steam-driven mill, and eventually dissolved the partnership and transformed the mill to operate on electricity. Still branching out, Carl Knudson was called upon to design a turbine that would run Roza Dam. He did, and started Hydro Mechanical Erectors Inc. At about the same time, Archie Knudson started a successful lubrication manufacturing business at the lumber yard. During the late 1960s, larger timber companies were making their presence known. This made getting lumber much more difficult and left Carl to rethink the entire business. It was Carl’s decision to get rid of the mill and contracting business and go strictly into retail.
In 1970, the business’ name changed from Carl Knudson Lumber to simply Knudson Lumber when Carl’s son Dale and daughter-in-law Margaret bought the family business. It was Carl’s dream that Dale’s boys would keep the business running for the next 50 years. Throughout the 1980s the lumberyard continued to evolve under Dale and Margaret Knudson’s leadership. First was the computerization of the business, next was the concept of catering to local contractors. Both ideas worked well, Ryan said.
In 1991, Bob and Cindy Knudson, bought the business from Bob’s dad, Dale and implemented their own ideas into the business including expansion of the retail sales area and lumber storage.
Knudson Lumber & Hardware celebrated the 75 year mark.
Knudson Lumber undergoes complete store remodel.
Knudson Lumber updates entire truck fleet and forklifts.
Knudson Lumber opens a millwork workshop.