Only a few of Mentor's existing businesses were founded before the year 1950. Ten of these existed in the lifetime before freeways and shopping centers. Only one, C. Merkel & Sons can be traced back to the late nineteenth century. The next two businesses to arrive were in 1922. One was J. Fracci Florist, the other was The Mentor Lumber and Supply Company. The first Mentor Lumber Company was located on Hart Street. It was relocated to Center Street and eighty nine years later the original building still stands today. Even the construction of the Center Street Overpass in 1972 can not hide the familiar sign from view.
In 1963, Jerome Osborne, Harry Fishleigh, and Bob Sanderson teamed up to buy The Mentor Lumber and Supply Company. The addition of Pete Davidson to the mix marked the beginning of Mentor's full service lumber yard. The Chardon Lumber Yard was acquired in 1965 to give the company a Geauga County presence. In 1988, the Mentor Door and Millworks was established. Custom doors, mantles, stairs, and woodworking were now possible under the company umbrella. 1992 saw remodeling needs addressed as Mentor Installed Services opened. A kitchen and bath design center opened in 1998 when the Mentor Lumber Showroom & Design Center was founded. 2000 saw a new Chardon division site open.
Whether you can remember going by the original Mentor Lumber Company on a Mentor school bus pre-1972 overpass as I do, or you can only recall the site you see today, The Mentor Lumber and Supply Company chapter remains a living piece of the history of Mentor and Lake County.