McShan Lumber Company has a long history in this part of the country, dating back to 1844 when Feaster McShan moved to Alabama from South Carolina. In 1898 the town of McShan was so named in honor of Feaster McShan and his sons, including Nathan.
By 1907 Nathan had a cotton gin which was powered by a steam engine. Since ginning was seasonal, he built a rough sawmill and began producing lumber. Logs were pulled in by oxen or mules and lumber was sold to St. Louis wholesalers who rode down on the train to place orders. An important product in those days was pole stock which was very select as it was used to make wagon parts.
About this time, another family (the Sparkmans) purchased nearby Melrose Plantation, which consisted of 2,000 acres. In 1910 they erected a sawmill at Melrose and this is the current site of McShan Lumber Company. In 1926 Nathan McShan’s son, Tyler, purchased Melrose plantation from the Sparkmans and began operating its sawmill. Members of the McShan family still live in the “Melrose” house which was constructed in 1840.
Much has changed around the Melrose plantation and McShan Lumber Company since those days. Now a high-tech sawmill produces high quality lumber with just a fraction of the hard labor that was required years ago. We’re proud of our heritage as a high quality mill and strive to maintain the reputation that was established so many years ago.
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