Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

Willow River Lumber and Hardware under new ownership


Traci LeBrun

Joel and Tori Ribich are the new owners of Willow River Lumber and Hardware.

Joel and Tori Ribich took over ownership of the Willow River Lumberyard in December of 2012 from Art and Shelly Underhill. Joel had worked in sales for the lumberyard prior to taking ownership and Tori's family had owned the Willow River Mercantile.

The Underhills had owned the lumberyard for 22 years before selling to the Ribich's. The business has been a lumberyard since the early 1900s and has been in the hands of 20-plus owners since then. The lumberyard was not operating, however, when the Underhills took it over.

The store was remodeled in 2004 with an addition containing several exotic African safari and North American animals which are mounted on the walls. The animals were hunted by Ron Mlaskoch and include species such as antelope, impala, kudu, wildebeest, timberwolf, elk and caribou.

Some changes the Ribich's expect to make are bringing more hardware and houseware into the store to meet the needs of the local residents. The lumberyard sells items such as lumber, windows, doors, roofing, tools, hardware, electrical equipment and a variety of other goods.


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