Boro Sawmill & Timber Company was established in 1925 as the BORO HALL LUMBER COMPANY located in Jay Street, and later Concord Street, in the Boro Hall section of Brooklyn, New York. At the time lumber for the New York market was unloaded off ships at the Jay Street Terminal docks on the East River so the location was ideal for a fledgling lumber company like Boro Hall. Boro Hall Lumber Company’s first ‘truck’ was a horse drawn wagon and the last job of the day was to feed the horses. The company was started by John G. Sussek with $1500 which was lent to him by his future wife who said she’d marry him if he was successful. One year later they married in a church only a few blocks from the lumber yard.
The primary market for Boro Hall Lumber Co. was the burgeoning industrial trade that was so active then along the Brooklyn waterfront. Crating companies, tool and die makers, and sign manufacturers were only a few of the thousands of different industries that needed lumber. Industry was the economic engine that drove New York City in the 1920’s and from Greenpoint and Long Island City to the Brooklyn Navy Yard to Bush Terminal in South Brooklyn Boro Hall Lumber grew and prospered along with the city.
The Great Depression of the 1930’s slowed things down quite a bit but founder John Sussek was proud to say later that “he made money” during the depression years, in large part due to the building of the 1939 World’s Fair which injected much needed business into the local economy. In fact the World’s Fair was built almost entirely out of temporary wood structures, of which Boro Hall Lumber, due to a sharp sales force, supplied the lion’s share.
For Boro Hall Lumber the World’s Fair was the beginning of the boom years. Their sales grew along with the industrial business as well as new markets in set design for Broadway theatres and store window displays for 5th Avenue department stores. World War Two broke out in 1941 and Boro Hall Lumber, already supplying industrial giants Sperry Gyroscope, Grumman Aircraft, and Fairchild Republic to name a few, followed them as they became some of the country’s leading defense contractor’s in an effort to supply the United States’ war effort.
As a result of the war demand Sperry Gyroscope built a state of the art production facility in Lake Success, Long Island and in 1942 Boro Hall Lumber, at Sperry Gyroscope’s request, built a state of the art lumber yard just down the road in New Hyde Park, Long Island, in order to better supply what had by then become the company’s number one customer. Soon practically all of the Brooklyn based defense industry had moved to newer and larger facilities on Long Island and Boro Hall Lumber was in a key position to service them, just as they had done in Brooklyn.
After the war and into the 1950’s home building boomed on Long Island and by 1965 nearby Levittown had become the largest building development in the United States. Also in 1965 John Sussek’s son, John, Jr. joined the firm. John, Jr. developed the export market for Boro Hall Lumber and added a new facet to the business. Sales to Africa and the Middle East soon equaled the company’s local business and the ‘ go-go’ years of the 60’s were felt keenly by Boro Hall Lumber Company. By then John, Jr. had taken over the business, becoming its President, and in 1968 he changed the name of the company to BORO LUMBER, reflecting not only the growth of the company but the fact that it was no longer just a ‘local’ lumber yard; it was now international. In addition to changing the name, the company closed its Brooklyn yard and moved to brand new and much larger facilities in Maspeth, New York in nearby Queens.
In 1975, its 50th year in business, Boro Lumber Company opened a yard in Deer Park, Long Island to better meet the needs of the growing market on the east end of Long Island. In addition to the east end of Long Island, the outdoor advertising industry, municipal contracts, and big growth in the export markets fueled Boro Lumber ’s success and by the late 1970’s two of John, Jr.’s sons, Jack (John III) and Greg, had joined the company. Both Jack and Greg had spent time in lumber mills in Oregon and Washington and Jack had worked as a trader at a wholesale lumber company in Portland, Oregon for two years before joining their dad at Boro Lumber Company.
With their mill experience Jack and Greg joined their father in building a modern remanufacturing facility, in essence an urban lumber mill, in Maspeth, New York. When once there were a number of lumber remanufacturing plants in the New York metropolitan area, by 1985 there were none and the three Sussek’s had a hunch that here was a hidden demand for remanufactured wood. By the mid 1990’s that need was fully realized and Boro Lumber Company sold off its ‘retail’ business along with the yards in Long Island to fully realize the potential and growth of the ‘sawmill.’
By the late 1990’s again a name change; to BORO SAWMILL & TIMBER COMPANY and in 2012 a move from New York City to Wayne, New Jersey where we have consolidated our former three locations into one giant location with room to grow. Today we remanufacture, grade, and package specialty and custom lumber and timber products servicing retail lumber yards, government contractors, and state and federal agencies from Maine to North Carolina in both common, industrial, and clear grades. Specializing in Douglas Fir and Western Red Cedar as well as Alaskan Yellow Cedar, Atlantic White Cedar, Southern Yellow Pine, Red and White Oak, and assorted tropical and domestic hardwoods. Boro Sawmill & Timber Company is well established in the Northeastern market and in the early 21st century is developing, marketing, and selling new products such as engineered wood and ‘green’ products that meet FSC and LEED requirements. The first 90 years were only the beginning and Boro Sawmill & Timber Company looks forward to the next 90.