Delco Home to One of the Region’s Oldest Companies; It Was Established in 1798


One of the 25-oldest businesses in the Philadelphia region happens to be in Delaware County, according to a list compiled by the Philadelphia Business Journal.

At No. 13 on the list, the Alan McIlvain Co. is more than 200 years old and provides wholesale hardwood lumber and custom mouldings.

The Journal’s list excludes higher education institutions, independent private schools, public schools, alumni, and civic and social organizations and associations.

The company was established in 1798 and has offices at 501 Market Street in Marcus Hook.

It was founded by Hugh McIlvain, a Scotch-Irish Quaker.

In the late 1700s, rivers and canals transported lumber from sawmills to the company’s lumberyard. Early customers were carpenters, furniture makers, and industrials.

By 1834, lumber could be transported via railroad and canal between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

In 1872, under a third generation of McIlvains, the lumber company provided the materials for the University of Pennsylvania’s new campus in West Philadelphia.

Despite a 1906 fire, the company survived and was able to deliver lumber to the shipyards in World Wars I and II.

Today, the Alan McIlvain Co. is run by the family’s seventh generation and has 90 employees.

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