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A Brief History of Delson Lumber

Wholesale Timber Supply
Originally founded in 1945, Delson Lumber began as a small sawmill located on the industrial waterfront of Olympia, Washington. Local business man and entrepreneur Delta V. Smyth and his partners began sawing Douglas Fir which was logged from the hills surrounding the South Puget Sound.

Delta had several ventures in Olympia, the most notable being Delta V. Smyth Tugs and Barges. He and his brother Harold were also co-founders of the Hardel Plywood Co. Pictured at right, the Hardel plywood plant on West Bay Drive, Olympia,WA. circa 1950


During a time when there were as many as 11 sawmills in operation along the Olympia waterfront, Delta’s fleet of tugs were kept busy towing rafts of logs to and from the booming grounds of Budd Inlet.


Pictured above, Delta V. Smyth Tugs and Barges circa 1940

Delta Smyth eventually bought out his partners in the Delson mill and his son Wayne began managing the operation. In the years that followed, Delson Lumber developed a reputation as a producer of high quality select and clear fir cuttings which were sold throughout the US and overseas. In the 1970’s the mill was modernized to cut dimensional lumber as it transitioned away from large logs to the more readily available second growth Doug fir.

Delson Builds a Western Red Cedar Mill and a National Brand

In 1980 Wayne Smyth built a new
small log mill near Shelton, WA. The original intent was to supply the Delson mill with Doug Fir cants. But soon the new mill began cutting second growth Western Red Cedar. And within 5 years a planing mill and remanufacturing facility were added to produce Cedar bevel siding, paneling, decking, and boards.

By the 1990s dry kilns were installed and later a high recovery fencing mill was added to the Shelton facility. Through innovation, a commitment to quality, and aggressive marketing, the Skookum brand became the top selling knotty WRC siding in the US.


The New Delson Lumber – a Specialty Wholesale Distributor

Delson Lumber has deep roots in the forest products industry of Washington State. Our background as a manufacturer provides us with the knowledge and understanding of specialty wood products that serves our customers well. The new Delson Lumber, as a wholesale distributor of these products, brings to the marketplace a perspective and insight into the modern day industry that can only come from having been a part of its past.