Family history lost in blaze at Salisbury Millwork

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Emily Ford
Salisbury PostKay Wilson lost a significant portion of her family history Friday when a five-alarm fire consumed the business her parents founded.
A treasured portrait of her father also burned. The family did not have a copy.
“But you know, it was almost appropriate. This was his life’s work,” Wilson said. “He went down with the ship.”
Ree Velt Goodman founded Salisbury Lumber and Supply Co. in 1947. Wilson’s mother, Willie Brown Goodman, served as an officer and director.
The company now does business as Salisbury Millwork.
The 80,000-square-foot plant burned to the ground, killing two Salisbury firefighters.
Wilson wore a red ribbon taped to her lapel in memory of Justin Monroe and Victor Isler as she talked about her father and the fire that’s under federal investigation.
She said she would give anything for photographs of the interior of Salisbury Millwork รณ the offices, the production areas and especially the ornate conference room on the first floor where the portrait of her father hung.
The walnut-rich conference room featured a huge table handmade by employees.
“Go home and take pictures,” she said.
Karin Rock doesn’t have photographs, but the former employee does have a video she took inside Salisbury Millwork during a 1993 Christmas party.
Rock contacted the Post about the 10-minute tape and said she will make copies for Wilson and her family.
Fire investigators also may be interested in viewing the tape.
Fifteen years after taking the video, Rock had forgotten all about it.
Then her son called Friday morning.William Marino, a firefighter with the Union Volunteer Fire Department, told his mom that her old office was burning.
“It was absolutely awful,” she said.
Rock worked at Salisbury Millwork for two years as assistant to the chief financial officer, Joe Goldman, who died in 1994.
“I thoroughly enjoyed working there,” she said.
The company had just been extensively remodeled when Rock filmed inside the plant, mostly to get video of her co-workers. Some of them still work for the company today.
Rock said she never imagined that the business would burn one day, making her recording invaluable to the family.
She walked throughout the plant, videotaping people in the offices, conference room, loading docks, production areas and more, which were all destroyed in Friday’s blaze. Only a warehouse holding raw materials and a few dust silos remain.
Wilson was in college when a similar fire struck in 1959. Her parents rebuilt.
Ree Goodman, who died in 1999, eventually passed the commercial woodworking firm to Wilson and her brothers, Tom and John Goodman, and a cousin, Jeff Goodman. Wilson’s husband Norde serves as president.
Norde Wilson recently announced they will rebuild again.
Rock is thrilled to give copies of her old videotape to the Wilsons, Goodmans and anyone else with ties to Salisbury Millwork.
“I wanted to share the sense of family that everyone enjoyed who worked there,” she said.
Contact Emily Ford at eford@salisburypost.com.

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