Over 100 Years of Glulam
The first patents for glulam were issued in Switzerland and Germany in 1900. A 1906 German patent signaled the true beginning of glued laminated timber construction. One of the first glulam structures erected in the U.S. was a research laboratory built in 1934 at the USDA Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, Wisconsin.
The introduction of fully water-resistant adhesives in 1942 was a significant development in the glulam industry and allowed glulam to be used in exposed exterior environments.
The glulam plant at Rosboro was built in 1963 and was the first in the industry to utilize a continuous pre-glued finger-jointing line, stress wave machine-graded lumber, and radio frequency beam curing equipment.
When the glulam plant was expanded in 1973, a beam press and supporting equipment was installed which doubled the production capabilities. And in 1992 Rosboro increased production capacity, this time by adding a Dimter Beam Press and second production line. The purchase of the Vaughn facility in 2005 increased Rosboro's capacity and introduced custom glulam capabilities.
Rosborough in Rosboro
The Rosboro story begins in 1890, when Thomas "Whit" Whitaker Rosborough started running his own sawmill. A coincidence of names occurred sixteen years later, when Whit Rosborough formed the Caddo River Lumber Company in Rosboro, Arkansas.
After his honeymoon in the Pacific Northwest, Whit started forming his westward plans. In 1939 he moved to Springfield, Oregon, with a team of loyal employees. Trading his recently purchased coastal-range timberlands for holdings in the McKenzie River Valley, Whit and crew started constructing Rosboro's first sawmill. Using energy generated from its three-stack power plants and two steam turbines, the new Rosboro mill was a model of self reliance. When the first board rolled through the state-of-the-art facility in June of 1940, the local newspaper touted the mill as the "Northwest's most modern timber manufacturing plant."
The Pride of the Northwest
Whit retired five years later, leaving Rosboro ownership to several of his key employees. They got to work on expanding the scope and production of the sawmill that was the pride of the Northwest.
Demonstrating an early knack of adapting new technology, Rosboro constructed a veneer mill in 1959 and began manufacturing plywood. Quickly making strides in laminated products, the company introduced its glulam operation in 1963, a development that helped distinguish Rosboro as one of the first fully integrated forest products operations.
The Rosboro team didn't stop there. In 1975, the small-log mill was built to manufacture studs from second growth timber. In 2001, Rosboro acquired Washington Hardwoods Company in Seattle to establish a presence in the hardwood door and window frame industry. The glulam business expanded in 2005 with the purchase of a Weyerhaeuser laminating facility in Veneta, Oregon, an addition that made Rosboro North America's largest glulam manufacturer.
Yesterday's Pioneer, Today's Industry Leader
Today Rosboro remains one of the country's few fully integrated forest products operations. Our original timberland base has grown into one of the Northwest's largest private holdings, which we diligently care for using sustainable forestry practices. At all of our facilities, which generate products distributed from Hawaii to Florida and abroad, we continue to integrate technology that makes operations more efficient for our team and our customers.