Davis-Hawn Lumber Company traded the smell of sawdust for the smell of barbecue on June 20 to commemorate the shop’s 90th anniversary. It’s something Dave Reichert probably didn’t expect when he bought the operation 14 years ago.
Outside, the marquee beckoned customers to “Come Celebrate 90 Years,” while Reichert’s sons Ben and Austin manned the smoker. Inside, Dave was slicing up ham, beef, and sausage for customers.
“It just keeps going,” 18-year-old Austin said. “My dad’s made a lot of progress.”
Reichert decided to give up his law practice and indulge his woodworking hobby more than a decade ago, when he first heard Davis-Hawn might be for sale. The University Park resident met with Wirt Davis, who was then in his 80s, for about a year before the transaction was final.
“When they first built this, it was all farmland out here,” Reichert said of the shop’s Oak Cliff location. “Mr. Davis’ was where you came for quality wood.”
No doubt, Reichert has carried on the reputation Davis built. When other shops folded under the pressure of home-repair chains, Davis-Hawn stood strong.
Longtime customer Van Phillips said Reichert’s “tenacity and leadership” were to thank.
“I’ve been coming here since about the 1970s,” said another customer, Bill Roberts. “It’s amazing. All the other lumber yards we knew are all gone.”
But the day’s tone stayed light rather than pensive, with every customer that Reichert and his wife, Darian, greeted by name. Even Reichert’s parents, Sandra and David, were there to celebrate.
“Dave, I want to tell you, you’ve done really well,” said Barvo Walker, a sculptor whose studio sits nearby. “You don’t look 90.”
For Reichert, the benefits aren’t just standing the test of time. It’s also about the positive impact on his family.
This fall, three of his four sons will be students at Highland Park High School, just as he and his wife once were. But the kids also spend their summers working in the shop.
“I get my boys out of the Bubble,” Reichert said. “If you’re stuck in one place, your perspective of reality gets skewed. I see a more balanced perspective.”