Alfred Christensen’s journey building Christensen Lumber began on March 23, 1923. Alfred partnered with local homebuilder Robert Luehrs to buy coal and lumber company Johnson & Cheney, housed in the original building built in 1885 just south of 1st Street on Main to create the Luehrs-Christensen Lumber & Coal Co.
The location was ideal as it was strategically located between the Burlington Northern and Union Pacific tracks—at the time, lumber and coal were delivered solely by train. The business also adopted a slogan of “The Home of Marvelous Coal.”
During the Depression there was no lumber sold and Luehrs-Christensen survived by selling coal from their local store. If the Depression years were not trying enough, the lumber company then burned to the ground in 1931. Not to be discouraged, Luehrs-Christensen rebuilt and has since done major remodeling in 1952, 1972, and 1994.
In 1936, the first new home to go up in Fremont since 1930 was built by Luehrs-Christensen. It was financed by President Roosevelt’s new Federal Housing Administration and was a model home of a new design called the “Home of ’36.” Because of the connection to the President, groundbreaking for the house became a major in attraction in Fremont.
Visit by President Roosevelt in 1936
This is a video recorded by Alfred Christensen in 1936. It shows a visit to Fremont by President Roosevelt. At the beginning of the video you see soldiers marching out of Christensen Lumber's historic building.
In 1943, Luehrs sold his interests to Alfred Christensen and the company name became known as Christensen Lumber & Coal. During World War II, Christensen Lumber relied on selling coal once again to survive as lumber was allotted for the war efforts. In 1954, coal was dropped from the inventory and the company name was changed to Christensen Lumber Company to accommodate the increasing demand for lumber.
After serving in the military, David Christensen became the second generation to enter the family business in 1955. He had planned to be a “forester” and during his college summers had worked for the forest service-- but Fremont grew rapidly after WWII due to the famed “baby boom” and young families needed housing.
In 1969 the company was incorporated with Alfred Christensen as President for a fee of $50. David and his father worked side by side until his death on November 26, 1976 at the age of 83. David served as President from 1962-1999 and retired in 2019.
Focused on Customer Satisfaction since 1923
During the late seventies, a third generation of Christensen's joined the company. Alfred’s grandson, Tom Christensen, started working at the ground floor by sweeping floors and doing odd jobs at age six. After working his way up through the company through positions of increasing responsibility, Tom took over as President of Christensen Lumber in 1999.
Though the business has changed from the typical retail lumber yard of the mid 20th century to focusing on serving the professional builder and contractors, our values and customer service have remained the same. Our core competency and early use of computer technology and development of trusses, component systems, and pre-hung doors and emphasis on millwork sales, has lasted the test of time, with continued focus primarily on single-family and commercial wood-framed projects.
Since our beginning in 1923 as a small family-owned business, we have expanded our product and service offerings, developed our craft, and cultivated our passion. Our dedication to creating high quality products and providing outstanding customer service has helped us grow to become a leader in building materials, building components, custom doors, and millwork products. We pride ourselves with our slogan “Quality Everything.”
Our design, manufacturing and service expertise has been developing for nearly 100 years. We are continuously learning, evaluating, and improving to ensure we provide the highest-quality products and services to local builders and contractors in the state of Nebraska.
As a cornerstone in the city’s development and industrial growth, we provide products, services, and jobs to our residents. As one of Fremont’s first businesses, Christensen Lumber is still operating and serving our community today. We have always been known and continue to be a main supporter of community and non-profit organizations including working closely with the Fremont Habitat for Humanity from its inception in 1993.
Today, Christensen lumber operates a 225,000 square foot warehouse and production facility on 19 acres of land with rail-car line for cost effective inventory management. We also operate two additional design showrooms and sales offices in Omaha and Lincoln. Overtime we have grown, offered more products but we have always stay true our mission:
“To be the best customer service driven supplier of building materials.”
Learn more about our core values that we have operated under for nearly 100 years.