Fischer Lumber in East Alton is marking its 75th anniversary and remains a family-owned business. (From left) Bobby Fischer, David Fischer, Bud Fischer, Ed Fischer and Jim Fischer.
EAST ALTON — In a competitive, big box era, locally owned businesses are often what help keep a community alive and thriving.
This year marked the 75th anniversary of Fischer Lumber, 210 N. Shamrock St. in East Alton. Navigating through changing times and trends, the business has provided the Riverbend a family-owned lumber and construction option for three quarters of a century. From humble beginnings to expanding horizons, through three generations, the lumberyard has become a thriving local business.
The business’ story began in 1941 when C.C. and G.A. Fischer purchased Hale Lumber. The East Alton lumberyard started small — only eight employees. In the following years the business grew, and in 1955 C.C. Fischer purchased all of the stock in the company; it remains with his family to this day.
By 1972, expansion was necessary, and the business moved to its current location on Shamrock. With the construction of a 10,000-square-foot showroom attached to a warehouse of equal size, Fischer Lumber continued to grow and in 1995, the company stepped into the manufacturing world, opening a truss manufacturing plant that has grown to 15 full-time employees.
C.C.’s son, Chis, became president of the company in 1958, retiring in December 1995.
Now helmed by brothers David, James and Edward Fischer, the lumberyard has expanded to include Fischer Window and Door, a second location in Brentwood, Mo. Operating as a full-line lumberyard, the company works with numerous aspects of the industry. David serves as president, with James as secretary and Edward as treasurer.
“We’ve always done more than just lumber,” Ed Fischer said. “We design kitchens, we can design baths, we can do lumber take-offs, and we do estimating if you bring in blueprints. Lumber is just part of the name; we consider ourselves a full-service, contractor-oriented lumberyard. Everything from cabinets to windows, mill work to roof trusses.”
The Fischer Lumber company provides jobs for 44 full-time employees. As a testament to the company’s longstanding success, many employees have been with the Fischers for more than 30 years.
“It’s a caring place,” said Janet Spencer, who’s been with the company for 40 years. “We care about each other, and the Fischer family is a great family to work for. I think our customers think that, too.
“I listen to the people here talk to the customers and they genuinely care about them. We all care about the business, and we are family.”
After 75 years of hard work, the Fischer family has proven a deep understanding of both family and community are integral in their longstanding success.
“That experience helps set us apart,” Ed Fischer said. “We live in the community, we work hard in the community, and we don’t take that for granted. We know that it works hand in hand.”
For information, call (618) 259-7434 or visit fischerlumber.com.