• Auction is this Saturday.
By RICK CURL
Of The Record Staff
The T.E. Johnson Lumber Company of Four Oaks no longer exists. In its place will be a new building supply company with new owners and a new name.
Southern Woods Lumber is now occupying the office and two of the warehouse buildings where its predecessor once thrived.
Thanks to an 11th-hour move by Michael and Angie Blinson, residents will still be able to meet their lumber and building supply needs.
“We just thought it was a huge need in the community,” Mr. Blinson, who has both a sales and construction background, said. “We’re going to continue with business as usual.”
Granddaughter of the founder of the outgoing company, Heather Clifton, said the transaction that ended the run of the sawmill — and began the new chapter with Southern Woods Lumber — was nothing short of a miracle.
“This was a miraculous type of situation,” Mrs. Clifton said. “This would never have happened if they hadn’t stepped in. Michael and Angie (Blinson) have come in to buy the remaining inventory. They are going to save the day and keep the public supplied, but it is two separate businesses.”
The Johnson family has refused time and again to sell the Johnston County business landmark, but when the Blinsons offered to purchase the existing inventory and change the name it was the right thing to do.
“Michael is a trusted family friend,” Mrs. Clifton said. “He is a highly respected and well thought of friend.”
Mrs. Blinson says the feeling between the two families is mutual.
“Michael thought a lot of T.E. and he hated to see the business close,” she said. “And he hated to see it leave the void.”
Mrs. Clifton stresses that T.E. Johnson Lumber was not sold, just the inventory. An auction set for later this week will still go on and is expected to attract plenty of interested buyers.
The heavy equipment used in the sawmill — including saws, rolling equipment, some of the buildings on site and livestock equipment — will still go to the highest bidder.
“There will be no manufacturing done on-site,” Mrs. Clifton said. “All of the manufactur- See Lumberyard, Page 3
Thanks to an overnight deal, the inventory from T.E. Johnson Lumber Company in Four Oaks was sold. Michael and Angie Blinson bought the inventory and will open a new business, Southern Woods Lumber, at the location. An auction will take place for the remaining buildings, equipment and vehicles this weekend. Front row, from left, are owner Angie Blinson, 23-year employee Juan Garcia and employee Patricio Ramirez. Second row, owner Michael Blinson, salesman Ross Barefoot and 12-year employee Javier Teniente.
Daily Record Photo/Rick Curl Lumberyard
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ing equipment will be sold at the auction.”
The successful couple will continue to operate the Grill on The Hill in Benson, something they have done since Mr. Blinson built the store in 1995 and opened a year later. But they will oversee the day-to-day operations of Southern Woods Lumber personally.
“We’re excited to begin a new adventure,” Mrs. Blinson said. “It will be business as usual for both businesses.”
Officially the business is now Southern Woods Lumber, but in order to prevent further confusion and to make it convenient for current and prospective customers, signs will be changed following next weekend’s auction and the Blinson’s plan to keep the same telephone numbers.
The auction is set for 10 a.m. April 22 at the company located at 3872 Old School Road outside Four Oaks.