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History of our Organization ... known as Lineyard

Originally documented by Alfred Cohn, Marvin's Building Materials and Home Centers 
Updated by Peter Ganahl of Ganahl Lumber Company in 2012 and edited by Marvin's in 2014


In the fall of 1945 Jack Parshall, editor of Building Supply News, got a few lumbermen together and asked, "Now that the war restrictions of the War Production Board are terminated - what are your plans to modernize your yards?'


In the fall of 1947 Les Everitt, manager of the Long Bell Lumber Co., became disgusted with the format used for meetings held by The National Retail Lumber Dealers, which included one yard operator, as well as multiple operators. Everitt managed a company that included approximately 120 lumber yards operating out of Kansas and was well aware that larger lumber companies had an entirely different set of problems than those of the independent operators. Everitt knew there needed to be a different organization to handle the problems and concerns of the large lumber operators.


At this point Les Everitt asked Jack Parshall in to form the "Line Yard Group." Membership required that one must have more than 25 yards, which was later modified to include good operators of smaller "Chains." The name "Line Yard" was fashioned because the majority of lumber shipments were delivered by rail, making it a necessity for the multiple lumber operators to be located along the "Rail Line' in order to run their yards efficiently.


The purpose of the "Line Yard Organization' was to exchange ideas and financial information, while trying to have as little crossover as possible as it related to territories in the United States. At the first meeting Jack Parshall, editor of Building Supply News, was moderator. As Bob Everitt recalls these meetings always started with a statement from Jack Parshall saying, "We cannot have any form of collusion, price setting or discussions that would be incompatible with FTC Regulators or any other regulations that might exist that have to do with restraint of trade.'


A few of the founding members of "The Line Yard Group' included Les Everitt of Long Bell Lumber Co., Jerry Jeremiassen of the UBC organization, Monty Montgomery of Boise Cascade, Jay O'Malley of the O'Malley Companies, someone from the Fesler organization (later John Fesler), someone from the Hines organization (later Bill Archibald), someone from the Grossman organization (later Nissie Grossman), and someone from the West Coast that represented a number of small companies (this could have been S.P. Milling Co., Copeland Lumber Company or Sterling Co.). Jay O'Malley was President of the group for many years.


John Fesler has furnished a mini recap of "The Line Yard Meeting": 

1956    First official meeting of "The Line Yard Group" was held in Chicago. 

1957    First meeting that John Fesler attended. 
1965    Smaller Line Yards were spun out of the big group. The smaller groups continued to meet separately until 1977. 
1985    After the Los Angeles meeting, many members regrouped in Sidney, Australia. 

John O'Malley requested that major yards in foreign countries be invited to join "The Line Yard Group.' Jay had friends in Copenhagen and Canada. Terry Mullin had friends in Australia and New Zealand. The first international meeting was held in 1969 at the Bay Shore Inn in Vancouver. Two companies from England were later included when they acquired interest in the United States companies.


The 2015 meeting was the 60th consecutive meeting of the group. Many of the members sitting around the conference table each year have changed, the meetings have persisted. And it is worth noting that there are many conferences every year that are sponsored by vendors, magazine publishers, and/or national associations, but our Lineyard Conference is the only one that is completely organized and put on solely by our own members. We do our own thing - we are unique. 

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