About Ganahl Lumber Company and Our Rich History

We're not the best because we're over 100 years old, we're over 100 years old because we're the best!

Ganahl Lumber Company is the oldest lumberyard in all of California. Others have come and gone but we are still here prospering! It all began in 1884, when an Austrian immigrant named Christian Ganahl and his brother Frank moved to Los Angeles from St. Louis where they were shopkeepers. Building was flourishing in L.A. and many people were moving west because the transcontinental railroad was offering trips to California for $1.00. grinder18small And a new industry was developing - oranges from Southern California won first prize at the International Exposition in New Orleans, defeating Florida oranges. Los Angeles had a growing population of 22,000, and Christian Ganahl seized the opportunity to purchase a lumber company he named the C. Ganahl Lumber Company. A few years later, Christian made a daring move and opened another lumberyard in the area. Although his "branch yard theory" was a new business idea, it took off and eventually he had several yards located throughout the Los Angeles area, including one he opened in Anaheim in 1904. Up to this point the C. Ganahl Lumber Company sold only lumber and cement. Two years after the Anaheim operation opened, Christian took another risk and added a new product - plywood. grinder14small In 1921, Christian's nephew, Ernest, bought a part interest in the Anaheim yard partnering with Charles Grimm, the yard's manager, and calling it the Ganahl-Grimm Lumber Co. In 1928, they built a second store in Lake Arrowhead. This yard thrived during the depression years because the movie industry was booming and Hollywood movie stars were building summer homes there. Following the death of Mr. Grimm in the 1930's, Ernest Ganahl bought out the Grimm family's interest and changed the name to the Ernest Ganahl Lumber Company. He also made his contribution to the changing inventory of the lumber business by adding hardware to Ganahl's growing product line. After World War II ended, Ernest's son, John, returned home and joined the family business. In the late 40's there was a growing interest in millwork products so Ganahl opened a mill division. John became involved in manufacturing cabinets for schools being built in the area. Ernest died in 1959 and John became President of the company. In 1964, John changed the name to Ganahl Lumber Company. It was always customary for the Ganahl children to spend time working in the family business. John's sons and daughters worked at the lumberyard part-time and during summers while they were going to school. John's son, Peter, joined the company full-time in 1968 and became the President of the company in 1973 upon the death of his father. That same year, John Jr. and his brother Andrew joined the company. Peter and John have continued their great-grandfather's "branch theory" and have acquired other locations throughout the Orange County area in the last few decades, making the company the nine-store business it is today.

We are family and employee owned.

Ganahl Lumber Company has been family owned since the day it began passing from generation to generation in the Ganahl family. grinder06small Today, Peter Ganahl is the President, John Ganahl is the Chief Financial Officer, and two of Peter's sons work in the business. Ganahl Lumber is still committed to offering the same quality and service that its customers had come to expect. Growth has not diminished the "family-owned business" feel of the Ganahl stores. In 1976, we began an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) which allowed the employees to become owners. Today, all of our employees either are, or can become, part owners of Ganahl Lumber through the ESOP. We have mill workers, salespeople, computer operators, lumber handlers, truck drivers, cashiers, and each person is a vital part of the company's ownership, operation and success. Some of our employees have worked at Ganahl for over 30 years!

We strive to do the ordinary things... extraordinarily well

Over the years Ganahl Lumber Company has earned a reputation for high quality products and customer service. Our employees are clearly the company's most valuable resource. Ganahl Lumber Company is committed to serving our customers by doing the ordinary things extraordinarily well. Our reputation is built on integrity - we do what we say and say what we do. Ganahl Lumber Company has many benefits to offer its employees and customers, such as a wide variety of quality products and services as well as up-to-date computer and information systems. While Ganahl moves forward to keep the business running smoothly in a high-tech world, employees and customers alike also appreciate the rich history in general and the Ganahl family's efforts to build a high quality lumber company.

Q. What's that BIG SAW in front of the store?

The huge band saw displayed in front of the Anaheim store was built in 1900 and put into service in a mill on the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon. For 52 years it was used to cut Douglas fir lumber. saw The iron giant was retired in 1962 when that mill was dismantled and sold. It stands on display as a monument to the pioneers of the lumber industry. It weights over 38,000 pounds and has a blade that stretches over 56 feet in length. It formerly cut logs up to 10 feet in diameter and 56 feet long. The band saw has, in fact, become the company's logo, and band saws like this one are depicted on the company stationery, ads, t-shirts and other items. Currently, five of the stores have similar band saws on display. They are a constant source of interest and conversation for customers and passersby. We are a company with many years of expertise and experience in the lumber and building materials industry. We carry lumber, hardware, doors and windows, electrical and plumbing and hardware products and much more. We have a complete line of construction lumber and decorative softwoods and hardwoods. We have knowledgeable salespeople for all the products we sell. Our trucks make deliveries all over Southern California. We have shipped lumber to many places around the world including Russia, Japan, Tahiti, China and more. Ganahl Lumber Company is proud of its long, rich history and has built its reputation on honesty and integrity. We constantly strive to excel in every aspect of our business by "doing ordinary things extraordinarily well."