The Carl family has been involved in the lumber industry for many years, here is a little of our family’s history:
Robert McGregor married Mabel Carl in 1930. In 1946 he started a company called McGregor Lumber and soon after he formed West Coast Hardwood. Later he founded Vancouver Sawmills and purchased Esmond Lumber and Fleetwood Door. Robert (Bob) McGregor had a true entrepreneurial spirit!
Robert Carl (Mabel’s nephew) started working for his Uncle Bob in 1959 after training to become a BC Forest Service Log Scaler. Robert Carl (in photo above) developed and ran Esmond Lumber (located at Hastings and Boundary) and later managed West Coast Hardwood. Vancouver Sawmills and West Coast Hardwood were located at 1111 East 7th Avenue in Vancouver. In 1974 the entire sawmill burned to the ground. It was never rebuilt on this site and the property was later sold for use as the King Edward Campus of Vancouver Community College. West Coast Hardwood was moved to Burnaby (Norland Avenue) in about 1976.
In 1984, Robert (Bob) Carl and his Uncle Bob parted ways. Robert Carl and Sylvia Carl formed CarlWood Lumber shortly after. CarlWood is now operated by Bob’s son, Doug Carl and spouse Cathy Carl, and has two separate divisions: Industrial Timber Products (2010) and Lumber Store by CarlWood (2019). In 2019, a third generation of Carl joined the team – Bob’s granddaughter and Doug’s daughter Alexandra Carl.
West Coast Hardwood’s sawdust fired dry kilns. Mid 1960s approximately
Vancouver Sawmills and West Coast Hardwood office, early 1960s
Vancouver Sawmills, mid 1960s. You can see a Gang Saw in the background
Vancouver Sawmills, mid 1960s, unloading green Alder lumber
Vancouver Sawmills first office
Vancouver Sawmills and West Coast Hardwood burned to the ground in 1974. It was never rebuilt on this site
Vancouver Sawmills Office… completely gutted. Uncle Bob McGregor had an AR copy in his pocket when he went home the night before. This is what the started with the next day!
Early CarlWood, approximately 1989. You can just see the small mill located where our office is now
The CarlWood Crew, circa 1990s. Beautiful Douglas Fir slabs recovered from Lake Cowichan area. These trees had been knocked down after the war as a make work program for returning soldiers. They were too big to skid out so were found under a fully mature forest. They were cut in the forest into wedges and flown out by helicopter.
The CarlWood office was completed just as 9/11 happened, there are a few worried faces in this photo. That is Bob Carl in the orange suit!
This is Randy with a 72″ bar chainsaw and a beautiful piece of Sitka Spruce stump! If you have been by our yard to pick up an order during the week you might recognize Randy!
Red Cedar lumber on sticks ready to go into the kilns. Approximately 1990
Nice snowy shot of our forklift in the 1990s parked in front of the dry kilns
The original CarlWood factory building, it contained a large S2S Buss Planer and hardwood trim line.
Our dry kilns were built in 1987, these are still fully operational today! If you visit our yard you will recognize them
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