A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE
TORNO LUMBER & HARDWARE COMPANY
Torno Lumber and Hardware Inc. is a three-quarters of an
acre lumber yard founded in 1947
by William H. Torno,
Bill was an industrial
arts teacher in the
The main building, which Bill Torno converted to its current use as a retail store, may, some day, because of its breathtakng beauty, be rededicated as a national historic preservation monument, This frame building was originally an auto garage, and the mechanic’s bays became the first storage bins.
As the new housing boom of the 1950’s matured, Bill correctly sensed
the coming do-it-yourself movement of the 1960’s, and he successfully positioned his business to take advantage of changing economic conditions. One of Torno’s
his business to Robert E. Kelley, a steel importer and building materials wholesaler.
Due to health setbacks and less than wise employee choices, Kelley’s term at the helm of Torno Lumber was marked by steady decline. In November of 1972, Mr. Kelley sold his interest in Torno Lumber to Robert A. Kelly, no relation, and the business has been under his direction since then.
In 1972, about 2,000 square feet of the main building was used as store and the
total volume of sales for both the hardware store and lumber yard was
approximately $500,000. By the end of
the 1970’s the changing demographics of the Town of
The growth and success of Torno Lumber & Hardware has been due primarily to the good fortune of its geographic location, and to the efforts and the growth in knowledge of its employees. There appears to be no reason to believe that continued success will not also depend on Torno's most important assets -- its employees!