Hood Distribution: A Brief History

Hood Distribution’s roots trace back to the 19th century when George McQuesten and Wooster McEwen founded separate lumber companies that processed and delivered lumber across New England and the Southeast United States.  

Through hard work and a solid reputation for quality, both companies survived two world wars, a major economic depression, and competition from foreign imports. In fact, they thrived, expanded their footprints, and upgraded their technologies to keep up with the times.  

By the 1990s when the McQuesten Lumber Company and the McEwen Lumber Company were acquired by Hood Distribution, horse-drawn wagons and steam-powered sawmills had been replaced by 18-wheelers and computer-guided milling operations, and both companies boasted multiple locations. 

Today, Hood Distribution’s 14 branches span the eastern United States plus Arizona.  They support millwork, cabinet, industrial users, and retail lumber yards in their need for hardwood lumber and hardwood plywood as well as specialty panels and composite products.

The McEwen Lumber Company

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Hood Industries' first distribution acquisition was the McEwen Company. It had come a long way since a 25-year-old entrepreneur named Wooster McEwen founded it in 1899.

Starting with the then princely sum of $2,000, Mr. McEwen began providing lumber products and establishing a reputation for service to the people of Asheville, North Carolina.

Through hard work and a solid reputation for quality, his company gradually established more operation sites: first in North Carolina, then nearby Virginia, and eventually throughout the southeastern United States.

From the days of true horsepower, then through two world wars and a major economic depression, McEwen Lumber thrived with its high standards for both products and service. By the time of its acquisition by Hood distribution, the McEwen Company had more than 10 locations.

Although far greater in scope than even its founder might have dreamed, the McEwen Group locations of Hood Distribution never forgot the values that made it successful. And, it’s those values that attracted Hood Industries in their purchase of the company in 1995.

The Geo. McQuesten Company

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Hood Industry's next distribution acquisition came in 1998, with the purchase of the McQuesten Company.

In the middle of the Nineteenth Century, George McQuesten began supplying lumber for New England's shipbuilders and housebuilders.

By 1998, McQuesten remained a strong and vibrant company, still providing high-quality wood products to New England’s craftsmen through independent, retail dealers.

The times of George McQuesten were vastly different from today. The old wooden whalers no longer sail the seas of the Atlantic, but McQuesten continued to bring to the market innovative products that enhance the work of craftsmen and builders in the 21st Century.

What never changed were McQuesten’s core values centered on excellence and service. It’s those values that continue to attract New England’s craftsmen. It’s also what attracted Hood Industries when they purchased the company in 1998.

Hood Industries

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A strong entrepreneurial spirit has guided, Hood Distribution's parent company—Hood Industries—from its beginning almost 40 years ago.

That's not in itself, all that remarkable—all great companies begin with a vision and a willingness to take risks to achieve it.

What is remarkable about Hood Industries is the willingness of the company's management from the very beginning to extend the challenges - and rewards - of entrepreneurship to each and every employee.

This unique approach has created an atmosphere that fosters trust, integrity, and accountability to our customers, each other, and the environment. Hood Industries' history chronicles the success of this philosophy in the company's growth.

Hood Industries was created in 1983 with the acquisition of a plywood manufacturing mill in Beaumont, MS. The company continued to grow in the late 1980s with the acquisition of two lumber manufacturing plants in Waynesboro, MS, and Coushatta, LA, and a plywood mill in Wiggins, MS.

With these four plants, Hood Industries enjoyed phenomenal growth, particularly in the early 1990s. Because of this growth, the ownership decided to expand the company's influence by balancing its manufacturing endeavors with acquisitions in the distribution industry.

And so Hood Distribution was born.

Today, Hood Industries employs over 1,100 people through both its manufacturing and distribution divisions: Hood Plywood, Hood Lumber, and Hood Distribution.

While the divisions have vastly different approaches and markets, they share a common mission:

Provide customers with the best combination of quality products and services, creating an enduring relationship based on value.