For more than a decade, I’ve frequently used the Maryville-Alcoa Greenway Trail. One of my favorite stretches is the path between the Old Louisville Road access point and the Springbrook area. Along this route, I’ve passed behind Anderson Lumber Company a countless number of times. I can tell you without hesitation that a lumber yard is a great metric tool for the state of the economy.
Before the low points of the housing market and general recession, I took for granted the enjoyable smell of freshly cut lumber as I would pass behind the Anderson Lumber yard. During the worst years of the recession, I began to notice something was missing from the lumber yard; the smell. Unlike normal, the building’s doors were often closed, few to no employees were outside working and there was noticeable graying of the already cut trusses and joists. It stayed that way for too long a period of time.
For me, the first telltale sign things were improving for our nation and community was the return of the smell of fresh-cut lumber while on the greenway. Over the last few years, the older and grayed boards have disappeared and have been replaced with freshly made trusses and joists that don’t sit around as long as they once did. The doors are open, employees are working and lumber being moved is now a constant image you see when passing by. Take a look around your community. The return of the lumber business is synonymous with the return of the real estate market. Builders are working on spec and custom homes, while commercial development continues to blossom from the worst years of the recession.