Stephenson Lumber restoring jobs soon in rescue of Lincoln Logs

For decades, the Stephenson Lumber chain has weathered prosperous times and downturns, while continuing to provide dozens of vital jobs. Area community leaders have said Stephenson Lumber has been an anchor economically for the communities it serves.

For more than three decades, Lincoln Logs had been a leading business in Chestertown and a pioneer nationally in designing and providing materials for log homes - with both stack-built and panelized exteriors. Lincoln Logs had been an industry leader that innovated efficient home construction materials and methods.

But in September, after suffering losses from the housing slump and battered economy, Lincoln Logs filed for bankruptcy.

Court papers indicated that Lincoln Logs had left at least $10 million in debt owed to at least 200 creditors. The documents, however, cited a sales backlog of $26.4 million, but customers had paid for only a fraction of the orders. As of September, the company had 48 employees, primarily working at its Chestertown headquarters and in a sawmill it owned in Saratoga County.

Larry Stephenson said Thursday that his company had retained about 65 percent of the backlog of orders, and was ready to fulfill them.

"We'll be bringing back more of the former employees as business builds back up," he said. "We're going to turn the company around."

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