One of Cleveland’s oldest companies – continuously supplying commercial building products and custom heavy timbers to NE Ohio for over 150 years.
Years in Business
NORTHERN OHIO is a 156- year old lumber company, heavy timber sawmill, and specialty wood products fabricator.
We have been continuously operating in downtown Cleveland since 1864, and our building materials and timber products can be found in thousands of commercial and residential structures throughout NE Ohio.
We are the oldest lumber company and sawmill in Ohio.
Key moments in Company history include:
Over the Years
In 1836 the Ohio & Erie Canal connected Lake Erie to the Ohio River forever charting Cleveland’s course as a major American city. NORTHERN OHIO’s founding 28 years later is directly tied to this event. The Canal’s route would eventually become railroad tracks, and raw products shipped into Cleveland from the Great Lakes, especially timber and lumber products, could be milled and distributed most anywhere in the still very young United States.
In 1864 we were known as “NORTHERN OHIO LUMBER,” started principally by lumber shipping magnate Nelson Mills who recruited other local lumberyard owners to be “a supplier of timber products” to other milling companies in downtown Cleveland’s “Lumber District.” The low, marshy plains of Scranton Peninsula in “The Flats” were ideal for off-loading lumber from ships lined up in Collision Bend of the Cuyahoga River.
For the company’s first 58 years, NORTHERN OHIO milled and distributed lumber and heavy timber stock for other local, retail lumberyards. NORTHERN OHIO’s 1880 brick smokestack from that original operation still stands on Carter Road in the middle of Scranton Peninsula.
In 1893 the company added major lumber production capacity becoming one of the largest suppliers of timber in the Midwest. The Mershon Heavy Timber Saw and AM Heavy Timber Planer/Moulder, still operating today on the NORTHERN OHIO Millhouse Deck, are from this period of the company’s history. Converted to electric power from steam in 1910, they are solid iron and perform beautifully and true creating custom-sized heavy timber stock per customer specs.
In 1922 NORTHERN OHIO consolidated all the old lumber companies still operating in downtown Cleveland (Carleton, Potter, Woods, Perry, Teare, Mills, Gray) and became NORTHERN OHIO LUMBER & TIMBER. No longer selling strictly to other lumberyards, the modern company was born providing commercial project estimates, lumber and building material supplies and custom sawmill products to Professional Builders/Contractors.
In 2001 NORTHERN OHIO relocated its milling and timber equipment from the original 1850 Carter Road operation to a new Cleveland site ½ mile up the Cuyahoga River to 2850 West 3rd Street. Equipment transfer, installation and leveling took over 12 months. New Company offices, warehouses and Millhouse were built forming today’s 4-acre downtown sawmill and lumberyard.
In 2016 NORTHERN OHIO added new interior finish and fixtures lines fabricating products from our own heritage lumber reserves, Architectural Harvest and the 1864 SERIES. Both divisions leverage sustainably harvested reclaimed, and gleaned rustic lumber – cleaned, processed, and stored in Company warehouses using new industrial processing and fabrication operations.
In 2019 NORTHERN OHIO expanded its footprint beyond downtown Cleveland with the addition of new processing, fabrication and warehousing in Newcomerstown and Millersburg, Ohio.
Our priority is to help you thrive.
NORTHERN OHIO is a veteran, commercial building and construction resource with over 150 years of direct involvement in almost every major project built in our marketplace. That experience is what differentiates us. Let us put that to work for you.