Henry Jacob Lutcher and G. Bedell Moore were partners in a Pennsylvania sawmill. They were so successful, they eventually ran out of trees. Having heard about vast stands of pine trees in Texas, they came to scout the area. Lutcher reported that the pine forests of Southeast Texas “are simply magnificent, you can drive through them with a horse and buggy as the ground is as level as a floor, and no underbrush whatever.”
The men arrived in Texas in 1877. They built their first sawmill on the Sabine River. Lumberjacks cut timber in the forests and floated it down river to the mill. To identify their logs from those of other timber operations, men branded logs, much like cattle. Companies registered these brands at the county courthouse.
Lutcher & Moore registered a five-point star on May 7, 1879. Through the years, they registered various brands including a ten-point sunburst, LM, heart, and shield. We haven’t found the Star & Crescent combination as a registered brand, but do see it in early company documents.
There are several thoughts as to its meaning. The waxing moon, or crescent, often symbolizes a new beginning. Lutcher and Moore may have seen the move to Texas as a new beginning for their company. Another possibility is that the logo represents a place. Orange, Texas is on a crescent of the Sabine River, in the Lone Star State.
Fire destroyed the first Lutcher & Moore Lumber Company office in 1900. An octagonal building decorated with gingerbread trim replaced it. A Star & Crescent topped its spire. That building too, was lost to fire on December 22, 1912. A mission style building of fireproof stucco took its place. It still stands today. The Star and Crescent appears above the front entrance.
In 1961 Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark, the grandson of the Lumber Company’s founder, established the Foundation. They chose the Star & Crescent as its logo. After more than 125 years, the Star & Crescent continues to represent the on-going legacy of our founders.