Ward Lumber Added to Historic State Enterprise Registry | News, Sports, Jobs
MALONE – Ward Lumber has been added to the New York State Historic Business Preservation Registry.
State Sen. Daniel G. Stec, R-Queensbury, named the worker-owned co-op — 3240 Route 11 in Malone and 697 Glen Road in Jay — for the registry last year.
“For more than 130 years, the company has been an important part of our region”, Stec said in a statement Thursday. “From its quality products and being a source of well-paying jobs, to its efforts to improve the quality of life through its many partnerships with local schools and communities at large, Ward Lumber is a company we can be proud of. .”
In 1890, Harvey M. Ward first started Ward Lumber in the AuSable Valley of the Adirondack Mountains, according to the Ward Lumber website.
The forest products business then became a family industry when Ward’s sons Amos, Ralph, Harry, Sidney Sr. and Harvey eventually ran the business as “Parish Brethren.”
Sidney J. Ward Sr., who became the company’s owner in 1944, had purchased more than 5,000 acres of timberland, still owned and managed by the Ward Pine Mill, according to Ward’s website.
After Sidney Sr. passed away, his son Sidney Jr., a third-generation owner, continued to grow the business. Son of Sidney Jr. – Sidney III “Jay” is President and Jeffrey is Senior Vice President of Manufacturing – are now the fourth generation owners of Ward Lumber.
Agnes Ward, wife of Sidney Sr., and Janet Ward, wife of Sidney Jr., both played pivotal roles at Ward. Agnès passed away in 2015. She had been recognized for more than 70 years of service to the company.
Jay Ward wrote on Ward’s website: “Ward Lumber was founded on values of hard work, service and quality. We owe much of our success to the generations of dedicated, hardworking men and women who have worked at Ward Lumber, and to the support and sponsorship of the people who live in the communities we serve.
In 2015, the company celebrated its 125th anniversary.
In June last year, the company became a worker-owned cooperative, with a seven-person board of directors.
The transition from a family estate to a worker-owned co-op has been seen as a way to preserve up to 50 jobs between the Malone and Jay sites.
“It has been a privilege to nominate Ward Lumber for the Historic Business Preservation Register and I would like to congratulate them on being one of the first companies selected,” says Stec.
The National Historic Business Preservation Registry was established in 2020 and is administered by the Office of State Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation. To be added to the registry, businesses must have been in business for at least 50 years and have contributed to the history of their local community.
Nominations must be sponsored by an elected state official.
Other upstate New York businesses added to the registry include Agri-Mark in Chateaugay, named by Rep. D. Billy Jones, D-Chateaugay Lake; Alcoa in Massena, nominated by Assemblyman Mark C. Walczyk, R-Watertown, and Sen. Joseph A. Griffo, R-Rome; Phillips Diner in Ogdensburg and Crystal Restaurant in Watertown, both named by Senator Patricia A. Ritchie, R-Heuvelton.