Wood Purchasing News


Feature Story


Gilco International Lumber LLC’s hardwood concentration lumberyard in Roderfield, W. Va. is situated on 20 acres with a one million board foot capacity pre-dryer, 16 Irvington-Moore dry kilns, air-drying sheds and yard with four million board feet of open air-drying capacity.

By Gary Miller

South Charleston, W. Va.— Gilco Lumber Co., headquartered here, recently transferred ownership, added more operations, became Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified and is now known as Gilco International Lumber LLC. After 62 prospering years in the forest products industry, James “Buck” Harless is retiring. The new owner, a businessman and friend whom Harless has known for more than 20 years, is also a well-known West Virginian and lumberman, Everett Hannah.

Approaching an impressive 90 years of age, Buck Harless has, throughout his career, remained dedicated to his hardwood lumber customers, vendors and employees while choosing the right proprietor for Gilco Lumber Inc. before retiring. “I’m highly honored that Mr. Harless has entrusted me to continue the excellent reputation that he has built for dependability and pro- ducing the highest quality lumber,” Hannah said.

A pack of Gilco’s kiln-dried lumber ready for shipment at the Roderfield operation.
Prior to buying the assets of Gilco Lumber Inc., Everett Hannah already owned several sawmills, with the largest being a band mill called Paintsville Wood Products, located in Paintsville, Ky. Other Hannah mills are located at Varney and Julian in West Virginia, another is under construction at Ft. Gay on the Tolsia Highway near Huntington, West Virginia. Throughout much of his career Hannah has been very successful in his real estate ventures and, recently, formed Appalachian Paving and Aggregrate LLC, and currently has a new asphalt plant under construction at Myrtle, located between Logan and Williamson on the Corridor G Highway in Southern West Virginia Hannah’s company recently won a major contract to build a new airport in this same part of the Mountain State.

Along with changing the name of Gilco Lumber Inc. to Gilco International Lumber LLC, some of the company’s divisions have been renamed:  Gilbert Lumber Co. located in Gilbert, W. Va., will become Gilbert Forest Products LLC; and Gilbert-PLC Lumber Co., located in Cabin Creek, W. Va., will change to Cabin Creek Lumber Co. LLC. Also, Gilco International Lumber—Salem Division—will continue the long-standing Co-Op partnership with Salem Frame located in Salem, Va. The Salem operation processes a large volume of Gilco’s Hardwood lumber that will be shipped to the firm’s overseas customers.

An employee grading Poplar boards on Cabin Creek Lumber’s grading chain.
As far as Gilco International Lumber LLC’s hardwood concentration lumberyard in Roderfield, W. Va., it is situated on 20 acres and has a one-million board foot capacity pre-dryer, 16 Irvington-Moore dry kilns, air-drying sheds and yard with four million board feet of open air-drying capacity. This location also has two grading chains; one to grade inbound green lumber and the other to grade, sort and surface dried lumber to customer specifications. Two one-million board-foot kiln-dried storage warehouses are located at the end of the grading chain, enabling the firm to provide its customers with “just-in-time” shipments to any location in the world by route of truck, railcar and/or container.

As was alluded to earlier, in 2007 Gilco formed a strategic partnership with Salem Frame Co. Inc. based in Salem, Va. At the time, the company’s owner, Buck Harless was in search of a hardwood lumber concentration yard that could handle part of his lumber production as far as getting it kiln-dried, graded, packaged and shipped. The agreement between Gilco and Salem was that the lumber output from Gilco’s Cabin Creek, W. Va., sawmill would be shipped to Salem Frame Co. Inc. to be completely processed to overseas customers’ specifications, and then the lumber would be containerized and shipped to them.

Previous owner, James “Buck” Harless and new owner, Everett Hannah.
From their five band mill operations and lumber yards with dry kilns, Gilco International sells green, air-dried and kiln-dried hardwood lumber to a variety of domestic and export customers such as the manufacturers of wooden furniture, cabinets, flooring, mouldings, trim, pallets and other types of woodworking plants, as well as to wholesalers and exporters of hardwood lumber, and to hardwood lumber distribution/concentration yard operations.

Hannah stated that he was pleased to announce that Tony Love, who has been a sales representative with Gilco for nearly 12 years, has been named the new sales manager. “Tony’s work ethic and his desire to meet the customer’s every need will be of tremendous value in expanding the sales of Gilco into additional areas,” Hannah said. Love replaces Scott England who has resigned to pursue other interests. Hannah also announced that Charles Kirksey of Morganton, N.C., has joined the sales team and will be working with Chris Buck, Hank Bishop, and Tonya Lemon to bolster the sales force.

Love said that he is excited about this new role with Gilco International Lumber LLC and looks forward to developing the international markets in a very aggressive manner. “Claire Chen has done a great job for us in China, and we look forward to expanding that as well as the European Market, with the addition of Charles Kirksey,” Love said. Love also said that his sales team is pleased about the recent certification of Gilco by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and feels that this will be a tremendous plus to Gilco customers.

The Roderfield, W. Va. lumberyard has two 1 million board foot dried storage warehouses.
With five state-of-the-art sawmills located in the states of West Virginia and Kentucky, Gilco’s annual production is approximately 65,000,000 board feet of Appalachian hardwood lumber. Primary species manufactured at the Gilco International sawmills are Ash, Basswood, Beech, Cherry, Hickory, Hard and Soft Maple, Poplar, Red and White Oak and Walnut.

Cabin Creek Lumber LLC opened in 1993 as Gilbert-PLC Lumber Co. 15 miles south of Charleston, W. Va. According to the company’s website this facility has significantly contributed to the rapid growth of Gilco International. State-of-the-art Corley equipment including a high-speed band head rig, a line bar re-saw, and a slab recovery saw are utilized at this location.

Gilco International also has a select harvest area of over 1.2 million acres where a full-time forestry crew ensures sound ecological practices in timber harvesting and better grain, color, length and width tallies on each bundle of lumber produced. Gilco International Lumber LLC is a member of the National Hardwood Lumber Assoc. (NHLA), Appalachian Hardwood Manufacturers Inc. (AHMI), West Virginia Forestry Assoc. (WVFA), Kentucky Forest Industries Assoc. (KFIA), Indiana Hardwood Lumbermen’s Assoc. (IHLA) and the Appalachian Lumbermen’s Club.

State-of-the-art Corley equipment including this line bar resaw is utilized at Cabin Creek Lumber LLC.
For more information about Gilco International Lumber LLC call Tony Love at (276) 393-8171 or Charles Kirksey at (828) 432-7770 or visit www.gilcolumber.com.

Cabin Creek Lumber’s Red Oak and White Oak log deck.

Two air-drying sheds are photographed here at Gilco International’s hardwood concentration yard in Roderfield, W. Va.

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