In 1954, Eric Dahlgren’s father, Sven Dahlgren, moved back to St. Helens with his new wife and young son and bought an old building materials company on the Columbia River. Sven didn’t tell his son why ‘building materials’ specifically, but Eric said his family had been in Columbia County since 1914.

“He’d been overseas, the whole bit,” Eric said. “He was coming home.”

Six years later, Sven lost everything when the city pier his business shared with Waters Concrete burned to the ground. He moved the family business out to the highway and rented property until Eric purchased their current location in 1974. “We’ve been here ever since,” Eric said. “We’ve gone through three stores -- the one on the river, the old one out on the highway, and the one that we built and occupied in 1978. In those days, I could look up from my parents’ house up on the hill and there were five smokestacks. Today there’s only cell towers.”

Back then, there were nine lumber yards in Columbia County. Today, there are only two - and one of them is Dahlgren’s Do It Best. There’s a good reason for that. At Dahlgren’s, we pride ourselves on being problem solvers. In 2000, after another competitor went under, we affiliated with Do It Best to increase our access to the supplies our customers need in an ever-changing marketplace. To quote our owner, it means Dahlgren’s has “access to the world.”

Our vow to our customer is to take that problem-solving mentality and apply it from the top down. We’ll continue to bolt things onto our business and adapt to your needs, while retaining the family values we were founded on here at home.

“We may not have exactly what you want, but we can usually find it and get it to you inside a couple of days,” Eric said.

That’s who Dahlgren’s Do It Best is at the company’s core - your hometown hardware store, here to help you with your projects while making sure you are equipped with the tools to truly “do it best.”