Our History

In 1939 the late Foster Frazee and the late Ward Sisler started the Frazee-Sisler Lumber Company, which could hardly be called a lumber company by today’s standards. The Company was formed primarily to cut mine props and cribbing blocks for the steel mills and coal mines of West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania. The mill originally cut or sawed less than 100,000 feet per year, with their operations mostly in ground mills, in backwoods sections of Eastern West Virginia and Western Maryland. In fact, as late as 1962, the company was still very small as evidenced by a net worth in that year’s annual report of $91,588. However, in the years since that time, after the construction of a stationary mill in Kingwood, West Virginia in 1962, the Company has truly undergone a transformation.

Upon construction of the Kingwood mill, the company incorporated and Donald and Edward (Gene) Frazee joined their father in the family business. They worked progressively to become one of the state’s largest hardwood lumber producers. In 1966 the company expanded with the addition of a circle mill located in Bartow, West Virginia. Both mills continued to grow and reach new horizons and in 1970, Gene and Donald, who had been considering modernizing, adapted their plans with the assistance of Darrel Reckart, of Reckart Engineering Company of Elkins, West Virginia. They decided to replace the old circle mill with a new band and canter mill which is, at the present time, in full operation and continuously expanded and updated.

In addition to their interests in the sawmill business, Gene and Donald expanded into a lumber treating facility at both the Kingwood Mill and another facility, H. B. Arrison located in Mount Morris, Pennsylvania. H.B. Arrison is still in full operation today. The brothers also added Inter-State Hardwoods in Hazelton, West Virginia as a custom pallet facility. This facility is also in full operation.

Effective July 1, 1989, the Bartow Division of Inter-State Lumber Company, Inc. located in Bartow, West Virginia became Inter-State Hardwoods Company, Inc., a separate corporation, under the direction of Edward Gene Frazee. In 1983, Inter-State Hardwoods began the construction of a kiln drying operation and by 1985 were operating 4 conventional dry kilns. By the end of the 1980’s, Inter-State had 8 kilns in operation, and added an addition 8 dry kilns in the early 1990’s. In May of 2005, they added 4 more dry kilns and a new boiler. This brings Inter-States total drying capacity to 1.7 million board feet of lumber with a total of 20 dry kilns.

By the end of 1992 as business continued to grow, Gene recognized the need to expand and opened a new sales office and warehouse in Norcross, Georgia just outside of Atlanta.

The sales generated by this new office brought the need to expand. Therefore, in 2002, Inter-State Hardwoods built a new state of the art 40,000 square foot manufacturing facility which incorporated surfacing (planning) and ripping (SLR) into one large, well lit and efficient operation. With this new facility, Inter-State Hardwoods added its moulding and S4S operation. This operation consists of 4 full time planers, 3 rip saws and 2 high speed moulders. In early 2006, the building was expanded and now covers 56,000 square feet.

As continuous growth was recognized, Inter-State expanded again in May of 2003 with the opening of a new 60,000 square foot dual circle scrag mill. The scrag mill has the ability to cut 1,200 logs per day pushing the annual production of the entire sawmill to over 35 million board feet.

In August of 2007, Bryan Vernon was named President of the Inter-State Hardwoods and Gene Frazee continues to serve as CEO. Today, Inter-State Hardwoods Co., Inc. in Bartow, West Virginia is one of the largest single site family owned sawmills in the state of West Virginia and serves customers throughout North America. Inter-State Hardwoods has shown the ability to recognize the always-changing needs of its customers and will continue to invest and expand business operations to best facilitate those needs. That, combined with quality products and incomparable service, Inter-State Hardwoods will continue to grow as an industry leader.