Truckee-Tahoe Lumber celebrates 75 years |

Truckee-Tahoe Lumber celebrates 75 years

Vicki Kahn/Special to the SunBreeze Cross gives an opening address at the Truckee-Tahoe Lumber Co. anniversary party on Friday.

Truckee-Tahoe Lumber Co. marked its 75th anniversary last week with a celebratory afternoon that applauded the company’s past and looked optimistically to the future.

An estimated 850 guests attended the event, including a handful of employees who have been with the company for nearly three decades.

“The greatest impact of Friday was realizing what an honor it is to be a part of a container that has held so many lives over the last 75 years,” said third-generation company president Breeze Cross, “and not just the lives of our employees, but of our customers, and vendors and the community.”

Truckee-Tahoe Lumber Co. was established by E.T. Robie in 1931.

Charles Cross, grandfather of Breeze Cross, grew up in the lumber business and established a strong relationship with the Robie family, and in 1940 Robie offered Charles Cross the option to purchase 40 percent of the business, which Cross managed until his death in 1968, Breeze Cross said.

“We had the great fortune of having some of those employees that worked for us in the ’60s show up to the party on Friday,” Cross said.

In 1968, Charles Cross’ son Chal Cross took over ownership of Truckee-Tahoe Lumber, and in 1972, his son, Breeze, started working for the company too, stepping up to become general manager in 1979.

Today, Breeze and his wife, Ruth, own and operate Truckee-Tahoe Lumber Co. and its Truckee and Tahoe City locations.

“The business has changed in our becoming much more focused on our customers and expanding markedly the range of products that we provide,” Breeze Cross said. “Our focus on market share and customer service, and technology both in products and service and in the way we account for them requires a new sophistication.”

Truckee-Tahoe Lumber Co. began primarily as a lumber and building material yard, but has grown to include roofing products, exterior and interior finish products and hardware, doors, cabinetry and surfaces for the custom home builder.

Cross said he does not have a 20-year plan set in stone, but that he anticipates that the family business will continue to grow and develop employees who focus on the needs of customers and the demands of an ever-changing market.

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