Business notes: Springfield, N.H., sawmill bought by Maine lumber company

Valley News Business Writer
Saturday, February 16, 2019

No announcement was made at the time, but last August, Grafton County’s biggest sawmill was quietly acquired by a rapidly growing Maine lumber company.

West Springfield, N.H.-based GH Evarts & Co., a manufacturer and exporter of North American hardwood lumber that operates sawmills in Lebanon and Grantham, was sold by owner George Evarts to Kennebec Lumber Co. of Solon, Maine.

Kennebec Lumber, headed by Dennis Carrier, now owns and operates six lumber facilities in New Hampshire in addition to a mill and five log yards in Maine. The company also owns Maine Traditions, a hardwood floor manufacturer.

“The region is very fortunate to have Kennebec in our area,” said Evarts, who bought out a partner in his sawmill and lumber business in 1996. Kennebec is “the biggest (lumber) processor in New England and the largest sawmill operator in New Hampshire,” he said.

Evarts, 59, said the sale was in part motivated by the fact that none of his children expressed an interest to take over the business.

“I wanted to see the company move on, and Dennis was able to bring that to the table.” he said.

Evarts, a New London resident, has stayed on under the new owner; he procures timber and is “selling off the balance of inventory” his company had in stock at the time of the sale. The two sawmills and lumber yard employ about 40 people, he said.

Kennebec, founded in 2000 with 12 employees, now has more than 200, according to the company’s website. In addition to Evarts, last October Kennebec also acquired New England Forest Products, a lumber mill and hardwood flooring retailer in Greenfield, N.H.

Enfield’s Energy Emporium, ReVision Energy merge

Enfield solar panel design and installation firm Energy Emporium, founded by Dartmouth-trained electric engineer Kimberley Quirk, has merged with Maine-based ReVision Energy, a major regional New England solar installer.

Energy Emporium has been at the forefront of solar energy systems in the Upper Valley, installing more than 200 residential and commercial projects over the past 10 years. Employee-owned ReVision Energy, based in Liberty, Maine, has locations in New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts.

Quirk said that the impetus to combine her company with ReVision Energy was top to assure the “long-term sustainability of support for customers who have chosen to go with our solar systems.”

Merging with a bigger player in the field also will enable Energy Emporium to offer a greater complement of renewable energy products, such as storage batteries, cold climate heat pumps and EV pumps, she said.

And, importantly, the 250-employee ReVision is a certified B Corporation and “that was very important to us and out customers,” Quick said.

“B Corporation” status is awarded by a nonprofit organization and certifies that a company balances the pursuit of profits while also meeting designated standards in social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability.

Energy Emporium, which works with local subcontractors to install the solar systems, has three employees, including Quirk, all of whom will join ReVision. The company’s offices in a historic 1860 house have been completely renovated to achieve net-zero energy efficiency and now will serve as ReVision Energy’s outpost in the Upper Valley, Quirk said.

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News items of interest to the local business community are published in the Business & Money section of the Sunday Valley News. Submissions may be sent by email to: biznotes@vnews.com (high-resolution photographs may be attached in .jpg format). Items are edited for clarity and space.

John Lippman can be reached at jlippman@vnews.com.