DENTON Nuttle Lumber Company's Denton location is closing its doors at the end of this month upon the retirement of its president, J.D. Neal.
As of Dec. 31, the Denton location will be closed and consolidated into the company's Rehoboth Beach, Del., location, which will be run by Jamie Neal, the company's current vice president.
In a letter to customers, J.D. Neal said the decision to retire after nearly 45 years with the company first as an employee and later as the owner was relatively easy. He said it means less stress and more time with his family and hobbies.
The decision to go a step further and close the Denton store, however, was more difficult, and cause for regrets, Neal said.
"Nuttle Lumber Company has been an integral part of this community for a long time," Neal said. "As we close the doors of the Denton location, I thank the entire community for its many years of support."
Neal said the loyalty of the company's customers and contractors, as well as the knowledge and dedication of its employees, has been a source of pride for him, and the reason the company has been strong and successful.
The Nuttle Lumber Company was formed in 1973, after Neal and Richard Derrickson bought the operating interests of the Nuttle Lumber and Coal Company, which had been founded in Denton in 1930 by three members of the Nuttle family.
After World War II, the company eliminated coal sales.
For about 30 years, from the early 1930s to the 1960s, the company also operated the Caroline Timber Company, a sawmill operation. Once it became more cost-effective to buy lumber and plywood from the west than to manufacture it, they closed the sawmill.
At the height of the company's operation, it employed nearly 200 people in Denton and its branch yards.
Former branch yards that have since closed were located in Easton, St. Michaels, Cambridge, Chester and Millville, Del.
After Neal and Derrickson bought the company in the 1970s, they expanded into light construction and remodeling, and opened a branch in Rehoboth Beach, which later moved to its current location in 1982.
The Rehoboth Beach branch is located at 18744 John J. Williams Highway (state Route 24.) To reach the shop, call 302-645-2233.