Calcasieu Lumber Company

CALCASIEU LUMBER – A Great Member Of The Austin Business Scene For Many Years

Austin supported many lumberyards, but the largest was Calcasieu, started in 1883 by the Drake brothers and later named after the superior lumber harvested in Calcasieu Parish, La.

“Better homes are built with better lumber,” reads an 1884 newspaper ad. “And that doesn’t mean high priced lumber either. Dealers in lumber, sash, doors, blinds, laths, piclets and all builders’ material.”

Early photos show a small lumberyard with a pitched roof and a hitching post for horses. Later, Calcasieu expanded over two blocks with a three-story building supplies store and two-story mill clustered around the intersection of Lavaca and East Second streets, where the sleek Second Street District now rises.

In the 1920s, it became a one-stop shopping center for home building. In 1949, a fire set by a teenage arsonist who had escaped from the State School for Boys in Gatesville caused up to $500,000 damage.

Under the name Mutual Lumber Co., Calcasieu opened numerous branches. It moved to southeast Austin in 1983 and was purchased by Carolina Holdings in 2000.

(The above writings are from Credit: Austin History Center View Caption. By Michael Barnes)

I’m not sure where this early Calcasieu Lumber was located.

This location was at 2nd and Lavaca

4 thoughts on “Calcasieu Lumber Company

  1. I was last person hired by Bill Drake , President & 3rd generation major stockholder prior to his death; also former mayor of Austin. I worked there from 1967-1983. Company merged w/ Milstead Supply In 1975 forming Texas Austin Industries till 1983 when companies reverted back to original heirs. Both companies later 2000. 1883-2000 a pretty good run👍


  2. That is a great run and what a great history! My family is the Butler Brick Family, owned by my family from 1873 to 2005. The plant is still operational East of Elgin but with different ownership. First thing the new owner did was take away company vehicles, then health insurance. I think the old family owned companies were more about the employees. I do work for a company in Dripping Springs, and Contain Water Systems management reminds me of my Father and Grandfather! Michael (Dick) Butler


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