BOUNTIFUL — After 103 years of business, Bountiful Lumber and Supply Co. on Main Street is closing its doors again.
The lumber and hardware store, one of the longest continually run businesses in Davis County and the state, has changed hands many times in its long history. This time the Fisher family — who have run the store since 1925 — are closing the doors.
Owner Wayne Fisher is now 89 and has managed the store since 1960. His father, Thomas, who bought the store, managed it until he was 81. Wayne's son, Gordon, doesn't believe the small store can compete with Home Depot any longer. "It's a huge corporation that can carry a huge inventory," said Gordon Fisher. "A single family doesn't have the capital to compete. I think it was inevitable."
Fisher said he'll miss the people. After all, that's what has kept the business going for so long. "It's like 'Cheers' on TV; some of the same guys come in every day. You don't see that in big-box stores," he said.
Jake Bascom, a junior at Bountiful High School who has worked at the store since November, agreed. "I like helping people. The older clientele come in, and everybody has a story to tell," Bascom said.
Bountiful Lumber was Bascom's first real job, and he chose to work there because he loved coming into the store with his father when they worked on houses.
The friendly atmosphere kept Wayne Fisher going six days a week. "He enjoyed work," said Gordon Fisher. "He thinks old age stinks. If he had his way he'd just keep going, but he's losing his hearing and his eyesight."
In its long history Bountiful Lumber and Supply has done a lot to build the community. According to a 1941 article printed in Ink Spot, an old Bountiful newsletter, the store aided the construction of many new subdivisions and businesses in Davis County.
The store had some tough times, Fisher said, but they were determined to make it work, and they made it through the Great Depression. His father and grandfather's store always supported the community, and in return the community kept them going.
"Bountiful is a good community to live in and do business in," Fisher said. "We can trust people, we can extend credit and accept checks. We'll miss our customers."
The liquidation sale of the inventory is still going on, and Fisher said there is one person looking at buying the store to keep it as a hardware business, but after 80 years his family is calling it quits.
Chronology of Bountiful Lumber:
Information provided by the July 5, 1941, issue of Ink Spots, Vol. 5 No. 7, published by Carr Printing Co.; Gordon Fisher, son of the current owner, and the historical plaque on the front of the store.
Bountiful Lumber and Supply has been the longest operating business in Davis County except for Carr Printing Co. and the Davis County Clipper.
1890: Lumber business started in Bountiful by Levi Heywood and Heber Holbrook with lumber from the Moss Sawmill at the head of Bear River.
1892: Incorporated as Bountiful Lumber and Building Association in June for 5,000 shares under the direction of Heywood, Holbrook, brothers Robert, Hugh and Jon Moss and William Loder as president. Originally located on a half acre west of the current location in a 24-by-24-foot building.
1894: After two years was moved across the street. Robert Moss became manager.
1906: Robert Moss died and Jed Stringham became manager.
1919: Building sold at cost and Lumber Association erected new building at present site under the direction of Stringham. Post-WWI boom allowed the association great prosperity. Name changed to Bountiful Lumber & Hardware Co.
1925: Business closed in May. Slump came when the company and many others were too far in debt and everyone was heavily mortgaged to pay for the Bonneville Irrigation System.
1925: Thomas L. Fisher bought the business in July for $17,000 by mortgaging his own property for a $5,000 down payment, and the local bank made a loan without even looking at his property. Fisher was born in West Bountiful and had worked for Heywood in his youth.
1927: Business incorporated under Bountiful Lumber & Supply Co.
1929: Depression starts just as business was at a peak after Fisher added coal, feed and grain to his inventory.
1935: The store weathered the Depression, and Charles A. Larsen became manager and Fisher continued as president.
1940: Wayne Fisher takes leave of absence from the store to serve an LDS Church mission in the North Central States Mission.
1945: Wayne Fisher returns from Navy service in Okinawa in a communication division and starts work at store again.
1960: Wayne Fisher takes over as manager.
2005: Wayne Fisher retires at age 89 in July, and family decides to close business.