Our History

history joe branton
1952
Henry Branton started a logging business with his brother Joe Branton along the Ashley River.
1962
Henry bought out his brother and purchased land in Ridgeville, South Carolina. He then bought all the equipment necessary to start a sawmill and Ashley River Lumber was born.
1966
Purchased a chipper and entered the wood chip business. He then began selling chips as fuel to Westvaco.
1970
Henry's son Joe starts full time at Ashley River Lumber and soon after become Vice President.
mid 1970s
Ashley River Lumber expands its capabilities from a small ground mill to a large overhead carriage mill.
late 1970s
Purchased a four sided Yates planer mill to size lumber and make flooring and paneling.
early 1980s
Built a series of large lumber storage sheds for dry storage.
2000
Joe's son, Joe Jr., comes back to the mill to work full time.
early 2000s
Due to demand Joe Sr. purchased a Branco modern band saw to speed up wholesale production.
early 2000s
Due to demand Joe Sr. purchased a Branco modern band saw to speed up wholesale production.
2009
Henry and Gertrude Branton pass away and Joe Sr. becomes the sole owner.
2010
Joe's son Andrew Branton leaves his career as an engineer to work full time at Ashley River Lumber and becomes Vice President.
2011
Purchased a shaving machine to meet the need for animal safe, chemical free, pine shavings.
2012
Purchased a Baker band saw mill to increase capacity for custom orders.
2015
Purchased a Vacutherm 500 board foot vacuum kiln.
2017
Purchased a chainsaw slab mill to meet the need for wider slabs. The decision was made to stop wholesale production and shift focus to custom and retail orders. A Woodwizz large surfacing machine was also purchased to further expand custom offerings.
2018
Purchased a Baker LQ 72 surfacing machine slab mill (largest on the East Coast) to cut slabs of a greater size and length.
2019
Increased kiln drying capability by purchasing a Kiln Direct 15,000 board foot kiln. Added a 36" Oliver 2 sided planer and a 42" belt sander. A new storage shed and an enclosed warehouse were added for dried lumber.
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