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Stephenson Lumber restoring jobs soon in rescue of Lincoln Logs

CHESTERTOWN - Dozens of people may be going back to work soon as one of the area's leading employers resumes operations, a company official said Thursday.

A number of former employees of the bankrupt log-home manufacturer Lincoln Logs Ltd. in Chestertown will likely be going back to work within several weeks, according to Larry Stephenson, one of the partners of a group that rescued the firm from insolvency.

"We've been talking to the former employees, and we'll have the majority of them re-hired by the end of next week," Stephenson said. "Everything looks good - so we may be back in operation March 9."

The enterprise will be ramping up its operations to fulfill pending orders, Stephenson said.

"We'll probably have 25 people working when we're back in production at the end of March," he said. "We're going to turn the company around."

Larry and Debbie Stephenson of Stephenson Lumber Co., along with several partners, made a successful bid several weeks ago for the New York assets of the Lincoln Logs, which filed for bankruptcy in September. The sale is expected to officially close this week.

Larry Stephenson said Lincoln Logs was a "good blend" with Stephenson, which has lumber and home improvement stores in Chestertown, Indian Lake and Speculator, as well as a truss manufacturing plant in Riverside.

Bankruptcy court records show the Stephensons and several backers submitted a $2.4 million bid for the basic assets of Lincoln Logs, which was once considered a leader nationally in log-home construction packages. The acquisition has been approved by the federal bankruptcy court in Albany.

The sale includes the model home on state Route 9 at the southern entrance of the Warrensburg hamlet.

In the early 1980s, Larry Stephenson was the financial executive of American Forest Products which had operated lumber and hardware stores that faced bankruptcy - and he acquired the chain, put his own name on the firm, expanded it, and made it financially successful.

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