Black Lumber got its start in 1928 by partners Joe Black and Roy Metzger, along with Joe’s brother Thomas R. Black, with the motto, Everything to build anything.
With the onset of the Great Depression, other lumber companies across the country were closing their doors due to a lack of business, but Joe saw the opportunity to stock up on low-priced lumber. Joe’s fearless business practices paid off, and Black Lumber became one of the most competitive lumber companies for state and federal government projects when the “New Deal” started in the 1930s.
In 1935, Joe’s nephew Roger Black joined the company and the two developed an unstoppable business team. Roger continued as a company employee for more than forty years and CEO for thirty years and was a respected member of the Bloomington community as well as a past president of the Indiana Lumberman’s Association.
World War II brought with it a new set of government lumber needs, and in 1943, the company became a war industry, producing ammunition boxes, shipping crates, and other wood products.
After the war, the company switched gears to supplying materials to private companies. Joe’s nephew Charley Taylor joined the company in 1948, just a year after Joe’s retirement, and later became one of the principal owners of the firm. He was active in the company’s management until his retirement in 1989.
Roger’s son, Thomas R. Black, Jr., joined the company after graduating from Indiana University in 1963 and played a large role in management alongside Charley from the late 1970s through his retirement in 2007.
Charley’s son CE Taylor is now the manager of Black Lumber Company, truly Bloomington’s oldest lumber company, and continues the company’s tradition of being a family operated business and a strong supporter of the Bloomington community.
Black Lumber continues to contract out work to businesses and customers, mostly building materials to contractors, throughout Bloomington. Their lumberyard and hardware store are located on South Henderson Street. The original motto still rings true; all of your hardware needs can be fulfilled at Black Lumber, from cabinetry and countertops, to purchasing gardening supplies, tools and home-improvement materials.
Black Lumber provides the best of both worlds; their affiliation with the Do It Best distribution network provides them the connections and convenience of a large chain while still allowing them the charm and customer service of a family-operated and locally-owned small-town business. Whether it’s a large building project or checking off the tasks on your “Honey-Do List,” Black Lumber is the one and only stop you’ll need to finish the job.