Horsin’ Around 2-22-10
Fort Collins, Colo.
Do you have a special place where you like to shop for things you need around the place? I have been going to the Forks Lumber Yard for years, mainly because I enjoy their friendly service. An old fashion lumber yard takes me back to the days when I was a young man, or even a boy traveling with my grandmother. I like to go there because of the friendly service shown by Amy Mowan and Ty Hanson who own and run the outfit.
Forks was started by Amy’s grandfather, Dale Mowan, in 1968 up at the forks of Colo. 287 and county road 74E that runs up to Red Feather Lakes and on over the pass. Back then it was a good spot because of the tree cutting taking place above Red Feather. Lumber trucks could load up and make a short haul to the Forks.
Dale kept the mill simple with a Cummings diesel engine attached to belts to drive the saw blade. Water is hauled in for drinking and cooling the saw blade. In 1999, son Michael Mowan took over when his father died and decided to move the mill to its present location on Colo. 287 just north of Ted’s place on the east side of the highway. In 2000 his daughter Amy and Ty Hanson went to work for Amy’s father at the Forks Lumber Yard. They worked from the year 2000 until 2005 when Amy’s father decided to retire. That was when Amy and Ty bought the place and began running it. The pair has continued to keep everything simple like the old days.
Amy and Ty buy logs from loggers, have them trucked in and dumped. Then they use a large forklift to move them to the platform for cutting. Then hand role the logs on to the platform that feeds to the saw, they use “cant hooks” (large pike poles with metal hooks attached) to roll the logs. They normally stay very busy and are about 3 to 4 weeks behind orders. However with the financial downturn this country has gone through, they say that they have been able to catch up on some much needed repair.
Forks Lumber normally turn out rough cut boards for fencing and siding as well as slabs for rough paneling. They will sell you one board or a bundle, then help you load it in your truck. It’s one of my favorite places to go.
Prior to his retirement, Roger Thompson was a CHA certified instructor of advanced Western horsemanship and beginning English riding.
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