Thirty years ago, Wilbur
and Louise Fullaway started a small family owned
business, Calaveras Lumber Company. From its humble
beginnings with four employees and one delivery
truck on ½ acre, Calaveras Lumber has grown to over
60 employees, with five trucks on 4 ½ acres. In
1976, the hardware store was 600 square feet; today
the store occupies over 20,000 square feet.
The business that the
Fullaways bought sold mostly fencing and they grew
it into a retail lumber company. Wilbur had worked
for American Forest Products, where he cultivated
his many contractor contacts in the Arnold, Angels
Camp and Toyon areas. The first major lumber job was
for the “Gold Country Inn” in Angels Camp. “I never
imagined that what we had then would grow into
this,” states Wilbur.
Shortly after Wilbur and
Louise opened the retail lumberyard, their son, Mike
Fullaway and daughter-in-law Diane, who are the
current owners of Calaveras Lumber, joined them.
Mike had been working at Lawrence Livermore Lab as
an Electron Microscopist, coming up to work the
weekends and his days off at Calaveras Lumber. In
late 1976, he and Diane took the plunge and joined
his parents full-time. Both Mike and Diane worked at
the yard/store during the day and made lumber
deliveries after-hours, sometimes getting home after
On August 1, 1979, at
9:30AM, a fire started in the newly completed lumber
barn destroying the building and its contents, as
well as the office, which had all of the records.
“The community reached out to help us rebuild the
lumber yard. Contractors brought in their statements
and said ‘I owe you this money’. We had people
coming into the yard building their own loads and
hauling the loads. Everyone in the community stepped
up”, shared Mike.
Today, Calaveras Lumber
Company has a busy, full-service lumberyard, meeting
the needs of homebuilders, remodelers and the
do-it-yourselfers. A fleet of delivery trucks serves
the entire Mother Lode. The retail store features
hardware, tools, building materials, electrical,
plumbing, housewares, a great paint department, gift
department, garden center, outdoor living patio and
a seasonal Christmas store.
believes in giving back to the community that has
supported it, and donates to the community through
scholarships, sponsorships and donations.
“This has been an
exhilarating adventure with its ups and downs. We
have always been blessed with good employees,”
Wilbur stated. Mike adds, “We appreciate the
community’s support throughout the years. Our goal
for the future is for continued growth and
improvement of our business for our customers and