Great-grandfather Homer T. Hayward spent 34 years as a partner in the Hayward Lumber and Investment Co. in Los Angeles before tiring of Southern California. After selling his interest in the business, he and his wife Maude moved north. They fell in love with the Central Coast and bought the Porter Lumber Company in Salinas on September 19, 1919. They changed its name to the Homer T. Hayward Lumber Company, and Homer served as its president from 1919 to 1928. The original Hayward lumberyard was located at the corner of Monterey and East Alisal Streets.
Hayward Lumber has been at its current Salinas location on Front Street since 1928. Starting in 1920, Homer T. Hayward began expanding, adding stores in Atascadero (closed in 1937), Watsonville, Santa Cruz, Pacific Grove, and Hollister over the next five years. Of these stores, only the Salinas and the Pacific Grove locations remain open today.
Homer T. Hayward was born in Flora, Illinois. He and Maude had two children, Arthur C. Hayward and Catherine Griffen. Before his death in 1946, Homer T. Hayward did many things that benefitted the Salinas community, in part through the Salinas Rotary, of which he was a founding member in 1930. Maude outlived Homer, passing away in 1958.
In 1928, Arthur C. Hayward became president of the Homer T. Hayward Lumber Company, and he continued in this role until 1946. Arthur succeeded in keeping the business operating and thriving through the Great Depression and World War II. Arthur C. Hayward also helped found the Salinas Golf and Country Club. He became ill during World War II, and he died a week after his son Homer M. Hayward returned from military service, four months before Homer T. Hayward died.
Homer M. Hayward, at 24, returned from the war and had to take charge of the Hayward Lumber Company business operations, at a time when the company was prospering. Additionally, he had to support his extended family: his sister Marguerite, his mother Nellie, and his grandmother Maude.
Hayward Lumber Company expanded rapidly in the post-World War II boom. The company added stores in Cambria, Morro Bay, Seaside, Carmel and San Luis Obispo. Homer M. Hayward led Hayward Lumber Company for 47 years, until 1993, when he became ill and was forced to retire. During his long tenure, many of the stores opened after World War II had to be closed, including Cambria, Seaside and Carmel. He also closed the Watsonville store, opened in Homer T. Hayward’s era.
Homer M. Hayward also engineered the acquisition of San Luis Mill and Lumber in 1986. He was one of the original organizers and the first president of the Corral de Tierra Country Club and the president of the California Rodeo in Salinas for a number of years.
In 1993, William E. (Bill) Hayward became chairman, president and chief executive officer of Hayward lumber at 36 years old. He continues as president, chief executive officer, and chief sustainability officer today. He has continued to restructure the organization through several recessions, closing the Hollister and Morro Bay stores in the 1990s. He negotiated the acquisition of County Lumber in Santa Barbara and T& H Lumber in Redwood City. He opened a new lumberyard in Santa Maria in the 1990s, and then he closed the Santa Cruz and Paso Roble stores between 2000 and 2010, and he took the steps necessary in 2008-2011 to ensure the survival of the business.
Bill has been the visionary leader who pioneered the development of a division devoted entirely to environmentally sensitive “green” building materials in the late 1990s, a strategy which survives today as the Envirosmart brand. He has successfully added window and door design centers and a roof truss manufacturing facility to Hayward’s product mix, changing the company’s brand from Hayward Lumber to Hayward to better reflect its multiple business lines.
Hayward and its associated companies have been supplying a full line of quality building materials since 1919. Hayward Corporation, a fourth-generation family-owned operation, is now based in Monterey and includes seven lumberyards from San Francisco Bay Area to Santa Barbara as well as six Design Centers, and a truss manufacturing facility (Hayward Building Systems in Guadalupe).