Johnston Lumber Mill
264 Fruit Hill Road
The Johnston Lumber Mill was built by Mr. H.S. Holmes in 1965. He started out with a portable sawmill and a 6” gang saw. In 1967 an automatic carriage and resaw were added to the mill. In 1972, a second sawmill with chipping canters was added, pushing total production of rough green lumber between 200 and 250 MBF per day.
Also in 1972, Mr. Guy Whitener installed the first planer mill, sorter, and dry kilns on the site, purchasing all of his lumber from Mr. Holmes. In 1974, the Continental Can Company bought out Mr. Holmes and Mr. Whitener. Continental Can continued to operate and upgrade the mill until the mill was again sold to the Federal Paper Board Company in 1984.
There was a fire in 1986 which destroyed the dry kilns, two lumber sheds, and 700 MBF of lumber. The kilns and sheds were rebuilt and the mill restored.
In 1990 the chipping canter mill was shut down, followed by a shutdown of the carriage mill in 1995. The planer mill continued to operate as a 1” board mill, receiving its rough green lumber from other sawmills that were owned and operated in the region by Federal Paper Board. In 1996, the Federal Paper Board Company was acquired by International Paper in one of the biggest corporate mergers of the year. International Paper continued to invest in and upgrade the mill with a complete rebuild of the trimmer/grader system, boiler, and dry kilns in 2000.
In 2008, International Paper sold a package of 4 southeastern mills, including the Johnston Mill, to the Simpson Lumber Company of Tacoma, Washington. On January 4, 2010, The Timbermen, Inc. of Camak, Georgia suffered a catastrophic fire which completely destroyed their planer mill in Camak. The Timbermen quickly negotiated the purchase of the Johnston Lumber Mill from Simpson Lumber Company and became the new owner of the mill in the offices of Mr. David Sawyer, Esq., in Saluda, South Carolina on January 29, 2010.
The Timbermen continues to operate the mill as one of the South’s leading producers of 1” southern yellow pine boards and moulding products. The Johnston Lumber Mill is presently staffed by 65 very capable and hard working individuals who produce approximately 40 MMBF of high quality lumber products annually.