Published by the Westerly Sun: September 27, 2014 | Last Modified: September 27, 2014 06:42PM
By The Sun Staff
WESTERLY — Arnold Lumber Company held a grand opening celebration last week at its newly constructed retail store and additional kitchen selection center showroom at 124 Oak St.
The location, formerly the Hanley & Williams Lumber Company, is Arnold’s fourth lumber yard and building supply and home design center. The company, headquartered in West Kingston, acquired the Westerly business in December 2013 from owner Jeff Hanley Sr.
The senior Hanley’s son, Bill, who was in sales and management, has continued with the business as branch manager of the Westerly location, and his brother, Jeff Jr., is working in outside sales within the Arnold lumber company.
Bill Hanley said, “We will continue to carry the same product lines with the increased addition of inventory, a masonary yard, kitchen department (which will be housed in the original stone building) and outside sales staff.” He noted that Arnold had added a few staff members to the previous Hanley & Williams staff. The reconstruction project was spearheaded by Allison Arnold and Ray Dreczko, he said, and the new showroom opened in August.
In announcing its move to Westerly, Arnold Lumber said it hoped to build trusted relationships with its customers while supporting the local community. “It is our goal in this location to continue providing the highest level of service and building long and mutually beneficial relationships with former Hanley & Williams customers and employees as well as develop new relationships with contractors in the Westerly and Eastern Connecticut communities.”
Arnold’s website gives a brief history of the company, which was started by Carold “Kit” D. Arnold on a woodlot in North Kingstown in 1911. He was joined in the business by his son, Arthur Arnold Sr., and in the early days they kept lumber for local builders in the family garage.
In 1952, the first lumber shed was built on Fairgrounds Road in West Kingston. Things were rather informal in those day; customers who came on Sunday, for example, operated on the honor system, leaving notes saying they would return to make payment on Monday.
Art Arnold Jr. joined the business in 1975, and by 1982 the company had acquired the Berger Lumber Company in West Kingston and moved into its current location at 251 Fairgrounds Road. This became the home of the company’s corporate office. Further expansion came in Wakefield in 1990 and in Bristol in 2003.
Hanley encouraged customers to visit the company’s website at www.arnoldlumber.com, saying it would “show the large amount of products we stock and order, believe me it is a lot!”
Arnold Lumber has a Homeowner Services page and a Contractor Referral service, and offers guidance on hiring a contractor or remodeler, saying it has established a base of contractors and remodelers that it regularly does business with. Customers can visit an online product selection center and request a quote.
The Westerly location (401-596-2806) is open Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays through Nov. 22 from 7 a.m. to noon.