National Lumber’s enduring legacy intertwines deeply with that of Baltimore City’s history. For over a century, spanning five generations, we’ve been integral in supplying premium building materials to countless builders across Baltimore. Since our establishment in 1919, National Lumber has experienced a remarkable journey, having thrived in various locations that we’ve proudly called home. Today, we’re excited to embark on a nostalgic journey back to our roots, over a century ago, in the heart of Little Italy. Join us as we explore the origins and evolution of National Lumber, tracing our humble beginnings in this vibrant Baltimore neighborhood to the significant role we play throughout the community today.
At the start of the 20th century, Baltimore was still evolving. In the early 1900s, immigrants from various parts of the world sought new beginnings in the United States. Among them was Alexander Fruman, an Eastern European immigrant who arrived in 1919. With a background in carpentry, Alexander noticed the growing demand for custom window and door sashes. This observation led to the birth of National Lumber, as he set out to cater to these needs. It was in the community of Little Italy that our journey began.
Setting Up Shop in Little Italy
Accompanied by his two sons, Isadore and Phillip, Alexander established their inaugural base in Little Italy, marking the birth of National Lumber on Stiles Street. Remarkably, remnants of our heritage endure to this day, with a National Lumber sign adorning the original building’s location. As time progressed, the company evolved, leading to a move to 300 South Central Ave, broadening its horizons from Little Italy. Additionally, in an intriguing historical footnote, National Lumber utilized Pier 6, now a renowned concert venue, as a storage facility for its lumber materials during that period.
National Lumber Today
By 1933, National Lumber had firmly established its presence across Baltimore, with the next generation stepping into the family legacy. Isadore’s son, Leonard, began his journey in the family business while still attending high school. Over the following 25 years, the company operated from a snug, three-story triangular building serving as the hub for offices, warehousing, and crafting windows and doors. However, the turning point arrived in 1958 when National Lumber acquired the P.M. Womble Lumber Company based in Canton, sparking a pivotal expansion into the industrial and commercial sectors. Just a decade later, the company transitioned to its current site on Pulaski Highway. Today, the fifth generation, Neal and Kevin Fruman, proudly helm and continue the legacy of National Lumber, ensuring its commitment to excellence and service to the community.
Baltimore’s Preferred Building Supplier
With a rich history spanning over a century, National Lumber stands as a steadfast pillar in the Baltimore community, upholding a lasting commitment to excellence in professional services and top-tier building materials. Throughout five generations, our dedication to serving Baltimore remains unwavering, now extending our expertise to Washington D.C. For seamless access to the finest building materials for your project, look no further than National Lumber. Contact us today or visit one of our design centers to discover how we can cater to all your building material needs with our legacy of quality and expertise.