As employee owners we have a sense of pride in what came before us and how it has helped mold us into the company we are today. We at Angeles Millwork & Lumber Co. celebrate the last one-hundred and ten years of serving Port Angeles and the greater Olympic Peninsula with great pride.
Founded by brothers Felix and Ishmael Filion, Angeles Millwork & Lumber Company first began as the Filion Mill & Lumber Co. In 1892, Ishmael and his son Alfred were operating a mill in Huron County, Michigan, working with native hardwoods that were too small and limited for their desired applications. Felix Filion, brother to Ishmael was in Port Angeles in the summer of 1892 and wrote his brother about the great number of large logs that were available in the Clallam County area. With that news the decision was made and the mill was shipped to Port Angeles on the steamer Island Belle in February of 1893. Transported by horse-drawn truck the mill was assembled at what is now the corner of 11th and B street and was in running order in May of 1893.
The logging for the mill was done with oxen from the east end of Clallam County and progressed into using a donkey engine locomotive and cars that ran on a track built with wooden rails. The mill primarily produced dimensional lumber and shingles for the peninsula.
In 1903 the mill burned to the ground in a large fire. Many building projects within Port Angeles were delayed because the Filion Mill was the primary source of lumber and shingles in the area.
The mill was rebuilt at its current location at West 16th and C street and quickly became the largest employer in town, employing up to 55 men. The mill produced on an average day 35,000 board feet of lumber and 70,000 shingles. All the wood products were logged west of the mill toward dry creek and were moved by wagons pulled with teams of horses to their destinations.
Shortly before World War I the logging railroad was extended towards the east into Tumwater Valley and down to the waterfront. Lumber and shingles could now be shipped into Seattle markets and beyond. After the war, railroad rails were taken up and were sold to companies in the Philippines. Gasoline driven logging trucks began to dominate the industry and trucks hauled the finished products to their destinations.
In 1924 the sawmill was moved to the upper end of Tumwater creek to take advantage of the hydroelectric power. The mill office and the lumberyard were maintained at the current site.
The largest employer in Port Angeles, the mill was always at the forefront of employee benefits and is rumored to be the first company in the U.S. to offer a retirement package.
Angeles Millwork & Lumber Company went through many changes as the local lumber yard and hardware store. It made a transition to millwork, windows and moldings in the 40’s and chances are if you have a single-paned wood window on the peninsula, it was most likely produced at this facility. Moving into the 60’s and 70’s, cabinets and moldings took center stage but lumber was still the tried and true quality product that was consistently driving the success of the business.
The store went through some additional changes and was rebuilt in 1978 and also in 1995 after a large snowfall caused the roof to give way. Much of the focus has transferred from the production end to retail and contractor services.
In 1984 Arnold & Debbie Schouten became shareholders in Lumber Traders, Inc., the parent company of Angeles Millwork & Lumber Co. and Hartnagel Building Supply and eventually acquired full ownership in the company. While Arnold held the positions of CEO/President and Debbie maintained Secretary/Treasurer positions, they were instrumental in the daily management and success of both locations.
In January 2004 Arnold and Debbie Schouten rewarded their dedicated employees and sold the two stores to the employees, creating the only 100% ESOP company headquartered in Port Angeles. Arnold and Debbie felt strongly that they wanted to provide a secure and profitable future for the company’s employees. By creating an ESOP the employee shareholders can have significant influence over the direction and success of the future of the company and themselves. Arnold and Debbie have remained on the board of directors fulfilling an advisory roll when needed.
The next twelve years we saw some of the best of times and also some of the worst in the history of the company. Through it all Angeles Millwork & Lumber Co. and Hartnagel Building Supply have stayed true to providing quality building materials from knowledgeable employees. Trusting this approach through all the ups and downs of the economy and the influx of big box stores has been the pivotal reason we have been able to serve you for 110 years.
The history of your hometown lumber and hardware store is of course important, but at the end of the day, it’s not where you’ve been that matters most, it’s where you’re going. Kelly Fox, CEO has an idea of what that looks like HERE.
Be sure and join us in celebration of 110 years in business with a BBQ, vendor displays, games and prizes on Thursday, August 25th at Angeles Millwork & Lumber Co.! More information HERE.