Our History

4 snavely generation
Four generations of Snavelys (J. William, W. Thomas, Jesse C., and Jesse Jr.)

J.C. Snavely & Sons, Inc. is a full service, family-owned lumber, building materials, and millwork supplier spanning five generations. We have been serving professional builders, contractors, and remodelers since 1878. What we are today reflects our family’s heritage and our commitment to quality products, fine craftsmanship, and outstanding customer service. Here’s a look at where we’ve been through the years…

1st Generation

oscelola mill painting

Moses Snavely purchases the Osceola Mill in Paradise Township. This is the true date of the formation of the Snavely enterprises.


Moses sold the mill and property to his son Jesse C. for $12,000.

2nd Generation

landisville coal and feed sign

J. C. Snavely sold Osceola Mill. One month later he purchased the lumber, coal and feed business in Landisville—our current location. His son Elmer joined him. This was the start of a partnership under the name J. C. Snavely & Son.

turn of the century horse drawn delivery cart

J.C. Snavely employed five men. Delivery equipment included a one-horse delivery wagon and a two-horse coal team.


A greater emphasis was placed on lumber and building materials.


A first in Lancaster County, the first Douglas Fir timber barn was sold and erected.

Late 1930’s
mid-fifties Landisville store

Plans were underway for a mill to manufacture architectural millwork products. A new retail hardware store was created, adding considerable sales volume.

3rd Generation


Jesse Snavely Jr. takes over management of the company.


Snavely’s joins 35 original stockholders in forming Lumbermen’s Merchandising Corporation (LMC), a buying co-op that helped revolutionize the lumber industry.

newpaper article of 1937 fire

There was a fire on June 20th. Damage was confined to the lumber shed and garage. It was the first fire in the company’s 70-year history.

4th Generation

bill, jim and jere

Jesse’s sons Bill, Jim and Jere join the company. The company is officially renamed J.C. Snavely & Sons, Inc.

Vintage store front pic

Snavely’s purchased Lancaster Box and Shook Co. and acquired the painting business of Milton Mowrer.


March 30—disaster strikes again—a fire sweeps through the entire southern portion of the lumber yard.


The formation of new corporation—Snavely Silo Sales, Inc., located in Frederick, MD.

Vintage truck

The coal and feed businesses are sold, making more room for lumber and building material storage.


The first Hi-lift truck was purchased. Giving us the ability to lift material to second stories and roofs.


landisville office and showroom
Purchase of Landisville Foundry Co., making way for new truss and door shop.

1972 illustration

J.C. Snavely purchased the former BB Martin Lumber Co. and moves Millwork division to Lancaster.

100 years celebration logo

J. C. Snavely & Sons celebrates 100 years in business.


Purchase of 10 acres on Hempland Road, Lancaster, PA.


Construction of 50,000-square-foot architectural millwork facility and drywall division.

lancaster office/showroom

Lancaster Millwork Building is converted into a 10,000-square-foot contractor store and showroom.

5th Generation


Leadership transitioned to the fifth generation.


Longer reach boom truck is added to fleet.


Purchase of 10.22 acres adjacent to the Landisville yard.


The architectural mill installs a CNC machine and computerized edge bander.


The Lancaster yard was consolidated to Landisville. The Landisville contractor store expanded.


A 6-story crane is added to drywall fleet.

6th Generation


The future of JC Snavely with their father Steve.
Nick, Chris, and Jesse