The closing of Lincoln Logs resulted in the loss of nearly 30 local jobs.
But all is on the upswing now thanks to local sawmill and retail lumber/hardware business owner Larry Stephenson, who - along with his wife Debbie and Erin - purchased the Lincoln Logs firm for $2.5 million, putting 25 local residents back to work.
At its peak, Lincoln Logs employed 120 or more local residents and was one of the largest producers of custom log homes in the country. The firm shipped 700 homes annually, and many area businesses were suppliers of goods and services.
"We have a real potential for synergy with our pre-existing businesses," Stephenson said Saturday. "My vision is to position it well for when the economy improves."
Stephenson said that Lincoln Logs can work in tandem with his other business. One of which produces trusses, while three other retail lumber yards have to ability to provide not only materials, but manpower as well.
For his part, Stephenson is just happy to put many of those laid off by the closure of Lincoln Logs back to good-paying jobs.
"I saw it here everyday as I drove to work," he said. "Why not bring it back to life and put people back to work?"
Stephenson predicted that by mid 2010, Lincoln Logs may be able to begin growing and creating even more area jobs.
The potential impact of these jobs on a rural area was not lost on Huckabee.
"We wish you all the luck as you work to save your town," Huckabee said.
Lincoln Logs made its first home delivery under the Stephenson ownership on March 27.
Journal Editor Thom Randall contributed to this report.