In 1978 Bellingham Lumber Company (Belco) was created as an office wholesale lumber brokerage firm. By 1980, managing partner John Staley, purchased the company. John began putting inventory on the ground around the greater Seattle area. Hence, Belco could better service its growing customer base in Alaska.
In addition, John Staley was a second generation forest products professional. Specifically, he followed in the footsteps of his father. Jack Staley, managed the US Plywood operations in Spokane after he served in WWII.
During 1982 John took the next big step and purchased property in Lakewood, Washington. Lakewood was a prime central location just south of Tacoma. For this reason Belco began operations as a wholesale distribution yard serving Washington, Oregon, and Alaska. Belco’s “Service First” reputation and expanded offerings propelled record growth. As a result, they soon became one of the largest distributors in the Northwest.
Tragedy struck in 1991. At the age of 45, after a three year battle with a rare form of Leukemia John died. Consequenty, he left behind a wife and four children. Furthermore, a giant shadow was left at Belco. However, the company persevered throughout the 90s. Intent on continuing Belco’s “Service First” legacy, three Staley siblings led by Bill Staley purchased the company in 1999. As a result, Belco and the Staley name continued to be trusted and well known in the forest
As the new millennium dawned, Belco acquired an 8-acre parcel in Fredrickson, Washington. They immediately began constructing a state of the art warehouse facility and rail spur.
Seizing a market opportunity to provide better quality primed SPF fascia, Belco revolutionized the product category when it created The ArmorCoat Process in 2002. As a result, high quality raw wood was sourced, manufactured, and given a proprietary primer coating. ArmorCoat entered the fascia/trim market in 2003. Demand was robust from the outset. In short order, Belco took steps to increase capacity and quality control. Therefore, Belco acquired a 16-acre manufacturing facility in Shelton, Washington in January of 2004. The facility was redesigned to produce ArmorCoat more efficiently.
As ArmorCoat grew to become the core product defining the company, it became prudent to consolidate operations to the Shelton facility. The Tacoma distribution center was sold to Parr Lumber out of Hillsboro Oregon in 2007.
Later, in 2015 Belco incorporated its service first dictum into “Our Essential Intent”. This document harnesses founder John Staley’s spirit. He stated “to increase the value it delivers to customers every day.” For Belco that means continual improvement in our relationships and products.
2015 also saw the advent of ArmorCoat XT featuring Wolman AG® surface treatment. This is now standard on all combed trim products. Also, in late 2015 Belco launched the XT Post. The XT Post is a glue-laminated and engineered column that completes the ArmorCoat XT product line.
In April of 2016 Belco installed a new planer and coating system. These allow the company to run its massive 8×8 XT Posts through production.
2017 saw the introduction of XT Plank, a natural, smooth sided, tongue & groove product with applications for soffits, ceilings, walls, car decking and cladding.