New sawmill specializes in custom cut lumber

Charlie Denison

Dick Beeman of Beehive Construction saws some slabs on a cold, sunny day in January.
Photo by Charlie Denison

Eighteen months ago, Dick Beeman moved to Lewistown, and he brought his business with him.

Owner and operator of Beehive Construction, Dick was ready for a new challenge. He leased some land across the street from the Rindal Oil Bulk Plant on Joyland Road and started up a sawmill with his wife, Rosa, who does the books, slings the boards and does other manual labor.

Along with Rosa, Dick works with David Pein. Together, the three focus primarily on custom cut lumber.

Although the winter is a slower time of year for lumber mills, Dick said he’s staying plenty busy and is glad he’s moved his operation here from Helena.

“The pine beetles got really bad over there,” Dick said. “Most the pine died over there, so I was looking for another place to go. That’s when my nephew, Bob Beeman of B and M Trucking, recommended I come here to Lewistown. They said there was much better timber here, and they were right. The quality of logs here is much better.”

And there’s a lot of it. Dick said B and H Trucking is loading up about 20 trainloads of timber a day.

“They haul all over the state, providing wood for big and small mills. They go all the way to the West Coast with this timber,” Dick said. “We just take a small portion of it. The logs come to us in 33-foot lengths and we cut them in half. We may cut them clear down to 8 feet. We sell quite a few four-by-fours, too.”

Originally from Idaho, Dick spent most of his career in Alaska, where he worked in the mining industry. Mining brought him jobs in Hawaii, California, even Panama, where he mined for gold.

Living here in Lewistown, Dick said he likes the slow pace and is glad to be part of the community.

“People have been very welcoming,” he said. “I appreciate the people here.”

Pein said he appreciates Dick and is grateful he’s decided to move his business here.

“He brought industry here to the area,” Pein said. “He’s providing jobs.”

“In our small way, we’re making Lewistown great,” Dick said, laughing. “In all seriousness, though, it’s amazing what a small company can do to add to the local economy. We rent this property, utilize the rental shop, spend our money locally and try to give back.”

Dick said Beehive Construction makes construction grade lumber, and regularly works with the customers based on their needs, be it contractors, cowboys or any other kind of client.

“We cut anything and everything,” Dick said. “We build a lot of beams for custom homes. We also do a lot of corral fencing and livestock windbreaks.”

Dick said they sell quite a bit of their slab for firewood, as well, and they even donate firewood to people who may not be able to afford it.

“Dick is a generous man,” Pein said.

Firewood, custom jobs and repeat customers keep Beehive Construction going, and Dick expects things to pick up again come spring. When the time comes, he expects to hire a few more hands, but, for the time being, he’s got things covered. He looks forward to meeting more people in the community and taking on more jobs.

For more information, call Dick at (406) 839-5992 or go to the Beehive Construction Facebook page.





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