Beaver Lumber, once Canada’s leading supplier of lumber, building materials and related products and services, began in 1883 as the Banbury Bros. Lumber Company in Wolseley, Saskatchewan. Banbury Bros. Lumber Company bought its local rival, Gibson Lumber, in 1904 and two years later joined with the Regina Lumber and Supply Co., creating a business with twelve lumber yards. A thirst for expansion resulted in the Banbury brothers striking a deal with some Winnipeg lumber yards. A new name was needed that was in some way connected to wood, so when Erwin Banbury suggested “Beaver,” the company identity was created and would become an institution in parts of Canada for another ninety years.
Beaver Lumber was a community-based business and focused on building relationships with its customers. The company eventually operated 130 stores across the country. Molson, the Montreal-based brewing giant, bought Beaver Lumber in 1972 and sold the retail chain to Home Hardware in 1999.
The first store opened by Erwin and his brother, Robert, was sold to the Wolseley Museum Association in 1980 and continues to be open to the public.