That reminded me that for several years, I've been driving by the shuttered Crow Lumber buildings on West River Road, where the company's “Old Crow” mascot still peers down from his sign perch.
Crow Lumber first appeared in the Lorain phone book in the October 1944 edition. Here’s its listing.
Some of the company's history can be gleaned from the obituary of Arthur R. Crow Jr., who passed away on November 13, 2013. A Vermilion High School graduate, Mr. Crow "attended Michigan State University for 3 years, before enlisting in the United States Marines Corps, serving during the Korean War, was discharged as a Staff Sergeant. After returning from the service, Art joined his father in the Crow Lumber Co., started by his dad in 1944."Arthur was the owner and the president of the Crow Lumber Co. until the lumber company closed its doors in 1994.”
Here are a few vintage ads for the company. First up is a July 15, 1954 ad from the Lorain Journal featuring “Old Crow” himself.
Here’s another Journal ad, this time from August 2, 1963. I love the company logo; it’s fun and memorable.
And here’s a Lorain phone book ad from 1970.
The “Old Crow” mascot was well-known locally. I remember hearing radio commercials for Crow Lumber in which the “Old Crow Says...” tagline was spoken by an announcer in a funny voice mimicking a crow.
“Old Crow” was even featured on a Zippo® lighter.
Up until a few years ago, a weathered, wooden sign of the “Old Crow” mascot (below) could be seen on one of the company’s other former buildings facing Sandusky Street.
In recent years, however, only a small scrap of “Old Crow’s” binoculars remains.
However, out in South Lorain on E. 28th Street, “Old Crow” can still be seen on a repurposed Fruehauf trailer.