DeGrange Lumber Co., a familiar fixture on Ritchie Highway since 1947, is going out of business.
James "Ed" DeGrange Sr., vice president of the family lumber company, said yesterday that the company will start a going-out-of-business sale when it opens at 8 a.m. today.
He said he and his three brothers decided to close because the economy has been particularly rough on independent lumber companies for the past five years.
Employees were told of the closing Friday. The family began mailing letters a week ago to regular customers, inviting them to a "sneak preview" sale today through Wednesday.
Mr. DeGrange, a county councilman who represents Glen Burnie, said the store will close by the end of the year.
Yesterday, family members wandered up and down the aisles, pricing goods to sell to old customers.
Mr. DeGrange said he and his brothers have been talking about closing the business for several years and that their father, F. Ward DeGrange Sr., who died last March, agreed with them.
Still, Mr. DeGrange said, it is difficult to close a business that his father and grandfather, both builders in the 1930s and 1940s, started.
He said he thinks the loyal customers the family has drawn over the years will support them until the end.
"I think the hardest day for all of us is going to be the last day," he said.