Four Generations of Tradition
Louis J. Pescaglia was the first generation of the Pescaglia family in the lumber business. During the early 1930's Louie delivered coal to homes in Central Illinois. While making his deliveries an oncoming truck hauling mining timbers crashed into Louie's truck.
The uninsured driver offered to pay Louie for the damages in mining timbers. Louis took his offer, and soon realized that he could make a better living selling lumber versus delivering coal. Louie bought a small, old sawmill and started milling mining timbers himself.
In 1960 his eldest son James L. "Jim" Pescaglia, joined with his father to start a new company called Pekin Hardwood Lumber Co. Located just across the Illinios River from Pekin, Illinois. The company specialized in sawing lumber and blocking used for packaging and crating for local industries such at Caterpillar Tractor and Keystone Steel and Wire.
A New Mill for American Black Walnut
In 1968 a new mill was built; with a new vision to specialize in furniture grade lumber while continuing to serve the local blocking timber needs. In 1969 Louie's younger son Gerald W. "Jerry" Pescaglia, joined his brother and father in the family business. Pekin Hardwood Lumber Co. continued to grow and expanded to an annual production of 8-million feet of Oak, Maple, Hickory, Sycamore, and Cottonwood lumber.
In 1980, the company expanded to New Franklin, Missouri. The new mill specialized in American Black Walnut, and was named Missouri-Pacific Lumber Co. After graduating from N.H.L.A. Lumber Inspection School in Memphis, Jim's son, James L."Bucky" Pescaglia, Jr., joined his father in Missouri and began managing lumber grading for the company.
During the 1980s the sawmill grew from 5 acres to 36 acres , including 400,000' of dry kilns, a wood waste fired boiler, an automated lumber stacking system, and a specialized walnut steamer.
Our Current Headquarters in Fayette, Missouri
In 1993 the Midwest was subjected to unprecedented flooding and damage. As the Missouri river rose to record heights, hundreds of levies began to fail. With very little notice, 14' of flood water consumed the New Franklin mill, located 2 miles from the Missouri River. After the flood and clean-up, the Pescaglias decided to relocate and consolidate the mills to Fayette, Missouri.
In 1996, the first boards came off the Fayette mill. The new 50 acre site is a state-of-the-art mill; designed using the experience and craftsmanship built over the last seventy years. Jerry's son, Jon R. (Ryan) Pescaglia, was hired as Operations Supervisor for the mill in 1998. The fourth generation is now also a part of the company. Bucky's oldest son, Tony Pescaglia, a 2010 cum laudi graduate from the University of Missouri with a BA in Marketing joined the business in 2010. The youngest of Bucky's three sons, Vince Pescaglia, started with the company in 2011 and graduated from the Inspection School at the N.H.L.A. in 2012. The future of the company is in great hands.
From our small town beginning to our present worldwide distribution, tradition provides the experience and assurance that our hardwoods will have a commitment to quality for generations to come.