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About Us

Old Scott-Taylor Millwork building

Our Story

As a former logger and contractor, Boyd Carlson started Carlson Building Supplies in 1980 as a simple hardware store with a single lumber warehouse. The building, situated at 414 3rd Avenue East, was previously the site of the Scott-Taylor Millwork Co.

Boyd’s mission was to provide the highest quality building materials at a fair price, and serve his Chequamegon Bay community. Throughout the years, there were many ‘side hustles’ that were started. Some, like the Spa Center or CBS Appliance, were later discarded. While others, Carlson Equipment Rental, went on to become their own companies. Through it all, Boyd’s commitment to the building materials industry never waivered, and he was joined by his sons, Jeff and Matt, who helped to further grow the company.

Tragedy struck in 2015 when Boyd suddenly passed away. In true entrepreneurial fashion, Boyd had been at work the entire day prior. With no succession plan in place, the day-to-day operation of the company fell to Boyd’s wife Marie. A year later, Marie hired her grandson, Ben Illick to take over daily operations of the company, and in 2017 Ben, together with his brother Josh, purchased the company in its entirety.

Carlson Building Supplies still sits on the same 3 city blocks of downtown Ashland, WI near the shores of Lake Superior, right where we started. As a 3rd generation, family owned company, our success is rooted in the success of our community members, our contractors, and the Chequamegon Bay Area as a whole.

We are Dedicated to:

  1. The highest quality building materials at fair prices.
  2. A professional, yet ‘hometown’ retail atmosphere.
  3. The absolute highest level of service in our industry.
  4. A network of trustworthy trades relationships.
  5. Investing back into our local Chequamegon Bay Area community.