by Jackie Nunnery
Lilian Lumber Company has big plans for its Burgess location and they started on Monday, July 27, with an official groundbreaking.
The Phase 1 expansion, which includes a large drive-thru lumber yard behind the Lilian Lumber Co. Home Center, is the result of “many years of planning,” said president and chief executive officer William Crowther.
Crowther is the fourth generation at the helm of this Northumberland County family business which celebrated its 108th year this month. Started in 1912 by Richard Hinton and his father, John, as a sawmill business in the community of Lilian, first on Raisin Creek and then on the Great Wicomico River, it expanded over time to include cabinetry in addition to mill work.
With the third generation, Prosser Crowther Sr., as president, the Home Center opened in 1972 at 15115 Northumberland Highway. The new store offered building supplies and hardware, sporting goods, small appliances and gardening supplies. Phase 2 of the plans unveiled at the groundbreaking include an expansion and redesign of the Home Center to include showrooms and office space as well as an updated storefront design.
The scenic and historic riverfront headquarters and lumberyard on Brickyard Road in Lilian will remain, “We’ll preserve and keep them,” Crowther said. Once the new lumber yard is opened, they will be used for stock overflow and storage.
Crowther credited his late father, Prosser Crowther Sr., and mother, Mary Lou Hinton Crowther, with the vision that has lead to this point. “My mother, the matriarch of the Lilian Lumber Company family, continues to emphasize the importance of carrying on the high standards of service and community support that her father began the business with in 1912.”
And the fifth generation, Katie Crowther, is on board to provide support for the vision moving forward. She graduated with a degree in business and communication from James Madison University in 2018 with the express purpose of coming back to work in the family business, where she is the assistant manager of the Home Center. “I’m proud of him. He’s overcome a lot of obstacles to make this happen,” she said of her father. “And I’m happy to be part of this.”