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Perkins Lumber in Earlier Days

Perkins Lumber
Earlier Days
Aerial View Perkins Lumber Employees
1962, 1977, 1986

Perkins in Earlier Days

Perkins Lumber is well known throughout the Region for its quality lumber products. It wasn't always as big as it is today. Founder Howard Perkins purchased the property on which he built his first shop in 1935 for $90. It's worth more than that today. The following year, he moved into the house he built next door with his bride Irene.

Howard Perkins had left home to attend normal school to study to be a teacher. But he returned home at Christmas to begin his business.

He later went on to be one of the organizers of the North Gower Fire Brigade, the Fire Chief for 13 years, Village Trustee, Reeve of North Gower Township, President of the Manotick Kiwanis, Founding Director of the Eastern Ontario Development Association, and President of the Development Committee of the Kemptville Hospital.

One of Howard Perkins' timber frame barns.

From The Clarion, December 14, 1977:

"Howard Perkins set out with the intention of becoming a teacher, but changed his mind when he saw how the system was changing. He went to work for an old timber framer, Joe Taylor, for 4 months, then branched out on his own in a part time capacity, while working for his father meanwhile on the farm. The apprenticeship served him well, as the following year he framed nine barns in the Merrickville area.

"In 1935 he started in his own shop in North Gower, a disused chicken house for 5 bucks a month. He said he started small but soon bought premises where he is now. 'It grew like Topsy,' he said.

"All the while he spoke he reminisced about North Gower businesses that are no more, the blacksmiths, the bakers, the undertakers."

61 years later, the business continues in the same location. At first, Perkins Lumber milled its own lumber, but the demand became too great, and it now brings in lumber from others, although the mill continues in operation.

Here is the original woodworking shop, built in 1936.

Interior view of the mill, 1962.

Gerald Perkins, Lyle Perkins, Howard Perkins, George Seabrook, Ron Seabrook

Perkins Lumber

When Howard Perkins passed away in 1982, the business passed to his son, Lyle, and Lyle's wife Heather. The business has continued to expand. It is now a part of the Homecare chain.

Perkins Lumber staff are happy to help the home handyman as well as the large contractor. The company sponsors a number local sports teams, and the staff are members of local service clubs, and volunteer firefighters. Don Stephenson is a member of Rideau Council, and the Chair of the Corporate Affairs Committee.

Some of the Perkins crew at the 1959 Manotick Centennial Parade.

John McLean and Cliff Pratt on tractor.
Irene Perkins, Grandpa Joe Perkins, Lynne Pratt, Lyle Perkins.

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Perkins from the air

see how the Perkins lumber yard used to look from above. It's also an interesting photo of part of North Gower downtown, showing the Post Office, and both bridges over Steven Creek. (Photo from Perkins' Archives.)

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Perkins Lumber Staff

1962 First Row: Lyle Perkins, Roger Workman, Ron Seabrook
Second Row: George Seabrook, Gerald Perkins, Howard Perkins, Jim Bryce, John McLean

1977 First Row: John Duncan, Carol Gervais
Second Row: Don Doherty, Larry Parks, Howard Perkins, Lyle Perkins, Fred Hodges

1986 Front Row: Lyle and Heather Perkins
Second Row: Debbie Payne, George Kalil, Keith Moore, Mike Crawford, Fred Hodges, Jim Cirka, Chris Bedard
Third Row: Dan Wilson, Bruce Seabrook, Greg Williams, Jeff Hamilton, Glenn Hayes, Clayton Russett, Mike McKenna

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