Lohrberg Lumber provided 2- by 2- by 10-foot and 1- by 1- by 20-foot oak drydock timbers to Mike’s Inc. (Photo courtesy of Mike's Inc.)

A Long Lumber Legacy

The collaboration between Mike’s Inc. and Lohrberg Lumber, Waterloo, Ill., continues a long tradition of Lohrberg serving marine businesses. Lohrberg is currently providing new timbers to Mike’s Inc. that will replace worn & weathered blocks used to support boat hulls and barges while on drydock.

“This is the first time we’ve done business with Lohrberg Lumber. Mike Sr. saw their advertisement in the WJ classifieds and placed a much-needed order for us,” Amy Marko of Mike’s Inc. told The Waterways Journal. “The quality of the lumber we received, the pricing and their turnaround time has guaranteed we’ll be placing more orders with them in the near future.” The all-oak drydock timbers measure 2 by 2 by 20 feet, with 1- by 1- by 20-foot timbers stacked on top for a total of 3 feet to allow workers, customers and Coast Guard inspectors much easier access to inspect and repair the hulls they support.

In between jobs for customers, Mike’s Inc. is continuing work on a spec boat it has been building since 2017. “Most of the topside and cabin work has been completed. The main engines, generators and gear boxes are installed. We’ve been waiting since last year to have one of our drydocks available long enough to start putting the underwater running gear in.”

Lohrberg has a long history of serving marine-related businesses with its lumber products. With its own forest acreage, Lohrberg can supply types of oak timbers that are hard to find nowadays. Lohrberg Lumber kept going when other lumberyards quit or were auctioned off. 

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“I’d say about 15 to 20 percent of our business is marine-related businesses,” Thor Lohrberg, president of Lohrberg Lumber, told The Waterways Journal. Thor’s grandfather used to deliver a truckload of lumber, five days a week, to the old Nooter Corporation facility in St. Louis, until the building closed in 1998. The deliveries had begun during the days when that small construction company was earning patents and developing groundbreaking, world-class metal-shaping technologies. “Nooter had one of the biggest cranes on the river,” Lohrberg recalled. Lohrberg’s lumber was used for the crane mats.

Among the many marine companies to which Lohrberg Lumber has delivered wedges and other timbers are JB Marine and Osage Marine. Lohrberg also delivered lumber for the Olmsted Lock and Dam project over a 20-year period. “We supplied lumber for thousands of crane mats on that job,” Lohrberg said.

Caption for photo: Lohrberg Lumber provided 2- by 2- by 10-foot and 1- by 1- by 20-foot oak drydock timbers to Mike’s Inc. (Photo courtesy of Mike’s Inc.)