Family History

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Family History

A PROUD HERITAGE

Robbins Lumber Inc. owns and manages 30,000 acres of its own forests and buys logs from over 150 independent loggers. Milling operations are located on a 40-acre site that includes a 1.2 MW co-generation plant, 675,000 board foot capacity kilns, computerized sawmill, planing mills, cut up shop, 70,000 square feet of warehouse, and the company's general offices. Robbins Lumber takes pride in its safety record, employee tenure and employee benefits. We are here to help you serve your customers.

ROBBINS LUMBER, Since 1881

Quality and innovation go back a long way at Robbins Lumber. When Frank and Otis Robbins first opened their small stave mill on the St. George River in 1881, it was only the beginning. In those days production stopped in July at the water-powered mill as the St. George's River flow diminished. Trees were cut with crosscut saws and axes. Saws were filed by lantern light. In 1912, the family business began to grow as Otis' son James installed the first long lumber carriage. His son, Lawrence, brought diesel power to the mill in 1947, finally enabling year-round operation. Disaster struck in 1957, when the mill burned to the ground. Looking forward rather than back, the Robbins family rebuilt the stave mill, but added a new sawmill. A year later, with the new mills in operation, the family added another dimension to Robbins Lumber, planting their first Christmas trees. By 1968 - the year those first trees were harvested - Robbins was planting 20,000 Christmas trees a year. In 1969, in need of more space and no longer dependent upon water power, the mill was moved to its current site.

Since the 1960's, Robbins Lumber has seen tremendous growth, always with an eye toward customer service through quality, efficiency and innovation. Responding to the energy crisis of the 1970's, an industrial wood waste-burning boiler was added that not only provided heat for all the mill's buildings, but could generate over 25% of its power. Since 2002 Robbins Lumber has had the capacity to generate over 50% of its power. Other energy efficient additions in the mill include: kiln vent exchanges, variable speed drives, computers, log scanning, and water recycling.

In 1990 Robbins Lumber helped develop and install software that integrated all processes within the mill and allowed precise tracking of production and inventory. Voice recognition for log scaling was developed for increased safety, quality and efficiency. The further addition of bar-coded lumber guaranteed accuracy for the customer. A planer mill built in 1993 incorporates on-line computer technology, replacing tally sheets and pencils and utilizes an on-line bar-coding system. Since 1996 Robbins Lumber has been fully compliant with ISO Quality Management Standards. In 2005 a major expansion was completed on the backend of the sawmill, where an automatic grading system, a new optimized trimmer-sorter line, and an automatic stacker system increased efficiency and reduced waste. With over 120 years and five generations behind them, Robbins Lumber continues to look toward a future of forest stewardship, innovation and customer service.

Please check out this great video of family business in the Northeast: http://vimeo.com/63774635

ROBBINS LUMBER, Today

Robbins Lumber is a vertically integrated forest products firm producing Eastern white pine lumber and byproducts in its mill, while at the same time caring for and growing forest products on its superbly managed woodlands. Maine craftsmen and women are employed producing approximately 25 million board feet of top quality white pine lumber. Another three million board feet are made into pre-cut parts and secondary manufactured products in the cutup shop.

The Maine woods, its soils, weather and terrain are ideal habitat for Eastern white pine. When sawed and milled, this lumber is considered among the best timber for either exterior or interior applications. This soft, stable wood resists warping, is one of the least resinous of all pines, and has a beautiful red-knotted appearance. Easy to handle due to being light weight, it is also excellent for stain, paint and lacquer finishes.