Whiting Lumber Co.
The Whiting Lumber Company, a Maryland-based timber company owned and operated by William Scott Whiting, established a single band saw mill in Shulls Mill, North Carolina in 1915. The company hired many of the rural community's residents to work in its new mill and as a result Shulls Mill experienced sudden economic prosperity. In three years the town had built a railroad depot, barber shop, movie theater, hospital and housing for the influx of people coming to Shulls Mill to work for Whiting Lumber. By 1918 the company had harvested over 1400 acres of forest but during the following seven years lumber production began a steady decline until the region's resources had been exhausted.
The Whiting Lumber Company, apparently seeking a means to expand its base of operation, successfully petitioned for a certificate of incorporation with Hambleton and Company January 24, 1928. The company's board of directors included: William S. Whiting, president; Peter L. Coleman, vice-president and treasurer; and William E. Bauer, secretary. It held its first meeting February 16, 1928 and it was decided that Whiting Lumber would purchase Tri-County Lumber Company and its timber rights in Avery and Watauga Counties, North Carolina and Johnson County, Tennessee. A purchase agreement between Whiting Lumber and Tri-County Lumber companies was finalized April 1, 1928.
The primary purpose behind Whiting Lumber's purchase of the Tri-County Lumber Company was the acquisition of its mill equipment (including a single band resaw) for the manufacture of finished lumber and the transfer of it to Butler, Johnson County, Tennessee to begin logging the region's timber. In addition to the relocation of the newly purchased mill equipment, many of the employees of Whiting Lumber Company's Shulls Mill location were "invited" to continue their employment by moving to Butler, Tennessee. The new prosperity experienced by Whiting Lumber was quite brief; after experiencing 5 years of flagging profits and increasing financial pressures from their creditors, the company was forced to file for bankruptcy on May 1, 1933.
Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:
The collection is divided into four series: Series 1, Virginia Iron, Coal and Coke Company Records, 1826-1948; Series 2, Doe Mountain Mining and Improvement Company Records, 1792-1948; Series 3, Doe Valley Association Records, 1790-1948; and Series 4, Miscellaneous Papers, 1836-1966.