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Research: Sawmill Database

Alpha-Numeric Key: LI-6
Corporate Name: B & K Lumber Company
Local Name:
Owner Name: B & K Lumber Company with Bennett Ebner. Temple Lumber Company. Peter A. Racki.
Location: Rye, east of Cleveland
County: Liberty
Years in Operation: 63 years
Start Year: 1934
End Year: 1996
Decades: 1930-1939,1940-1949,1950-1959,1960-1969,1970-1979,1980-1989,1990-1999,
Period of Operation: 1934 to 1996
Town: Rye
Company Town: 1
Peak Town Size: 312 in 1934
Mill Pond:
Type of Mill: Rough and dressed lumber, other manufacturing, from pine, hardwood, and cypress (1957). Its entire output went to the armed forces in World War II.
Sawmill Pine Sawmill Hardwood Sawmill Cypress Sawmill
Planer Planer Only Shingle Paper
Plywood Cotton Grist Unknown
Power Source: Steam (main mill at Rye); diesel (two peckerwood mills in woods)
Horse Mule Oxen Water
Water Overshot Water Turbine Diesel Unknown
Pit Steam Steam Circular Steam Band
Gas Electricity Other
Maximum Capacity: 50000: 194520000: 1994
Capacity Comments: 50,000 feet daily during World War II and 20,000 feet daily in 1994
Rough Lumber Planed Lumber Crossties Timbers
Lathe Ceiling Unknown Beading
Flooring Paper Plywood Particle Board
Treated Other
Equipment: Circular sawmill, planing mill, and dry kiln
Company Tram:
Associated Railroads: Logging by trucks by 1940; used Santa Fe at Rye to ship some finished lumber
Historicial Development: Peter Racki, born in Yugoslavia, in 1897, immigrated to the United States three years later with his family. As a teenager, he learned the stave business from his father. With the coming of Prohibition, which ended the need for the wooden kegs, Racki entered the lumber industry. He logged for others, then built a mill at Rye. The Rye mill site of P. A. Racki (pronounced Ras'-key) Lumber Company, on the east side of Highway 146, north of Liberty is still in use today (1996). Racki's father was in the stave business during the early 1900,s and young Racki began a lumber manufacturing business sometime by the early 1930s. P. A. Racki appeared in the October 1934 published records of the Lumbermen's Credit Association as a manufacturer of lumber. By 1940, Racki's steam mill at Rye had a daily cutting capacity of 50,000 board feet, and this output was supplemented by two “peckerwood” mills in the woods. The mills cut both pine and hardwoods, producing all kinds of lumber, flooring, and furniture stock. Racki employed normally between fifty and one hundred workers. Most of the output was sold to South Texas Lumber Company, a West Company, which earlier had interests in Liberty County at Milvid. The Racki mill at Rye burned, possibly in 1979, and the site soon thereafter was used by Temple Lumber as a shortwood mill. Today the mill cuts 20,000 board feet per day of hardwoods, and is owned by Bennett Ebner, of B & K Lumber Company. In 1987, the facility manufactured crossties, pallet lumber, and furniture lumber. Now the B & K Lumber Company of Bennett Ebner, management also has an interest in the Ebner Tie & Wood Company at Devers, in Liberty County.
Research Date: JKG 12-14-93, MCJ 03-14-96
Prepared By: J Gerland, M Johnson