Dee Watson followed the footsteps of his father, Jim Watson, right into the lumber business. Jim Watson had a tie mill in the 1940's, which was located not far from the Watson operation today. Dee began working at the tie mill when he was 14 years old, using horses, mules, and wagons to haul logs and lumber.
In 1983, Dee offered his sons, Pete and Donald, a chance to follow in his footsteps by asking them to join him in opening a sawmill of their own. Their first sawmill began with 10 employees. It was located just down the road, and was established as a lumber and tie mill, manufacturing primarily short boards. When they moved to the new location, they began producing larger boards and carrying larger amounts of inventory.