Moorhead business owner's roots run deep in the lumber industry
Hatchet & Co. specializes in reclaimed lumber and timber framing.
MOORHEAD — Charlie Stattelman was just 5 years old in 1996 when a tornado struck his family's farm near Clinton, Minn.
As his parents and other family members set out to tear down damaged buildings, Stattelman was given a dull hatchet and told to work on cutting down a dead ash tree.
The adults likely thought it would keep him busy and out of the way, he said. But when they weren't looking, Stattelman found a sharp hatchet and proceeded to cut down several trees before someone noticed.
From then on, the family joked about hiding the hatchets from Charlie.
Twenty-five years later, Stattelman is now the owner of Hatchet & Co. , a reclaimed lumber and timber framing business at 1608 1st Ave. N. in Moorhead.
'Oh wanderer, hear my call'
Stattelman's roots run deep in the lumber trade. His grandfathers were both interested in tearing down old buildings, so his "parents grew up pulling nails," he said.
Charlie's father, Randy Stattelman, made lumber his vocation when he opened Stattelman's Lumber in Clinton, which he ran for 40 years before selling to a young farmer.
Charlie didn't necessarily see himself running the family lumber yard, so he moved to Moorhead to study philosophy and classical studies at Concordia College with the intention of one day becoming a lawyer.
But fate intervened a few years ago when he got the opportunity to tear down two rural Minnesota churches built in the 1800s: the Siloah Church in Traverse County and the Eidskog Church in Big Stone County.
The job appealed to him because he considers himself "historically nostalgic." He enjoyed visiting with current and former members about the churches' histories.
"I ended up becoming an encyclopedia of historical knowledge for both churches. It was really cool," he said.
About halfway through the project, however, Stattelman admits he did stop and ask himself what he was doing.
"It was five months of tearing down boards. It's an investment with no instant return," he said.
Then something happened that let him now he was on the right path.
"When they finally polished off the bell on the old Swedish church, I was at a stage of my life when I was trying to figure out what to do," he said. "The inscription on the bell read 'Oh wanderer, hear my call.' That tied things together nicely. It gave me a little resolution to keep going."
Stattelman opened Hatchet & Co. in Moorhead in 2017. For the first few years, he focused on remodeling projects and learning all he could about the reclaimed lumber business.
He built a kiln to sanitize and dry the wood. He also assembled his own saw mill.
Stattelman said there is no shortage of material for people specializing in reclaimed wood.
"At one time we had over 30 barns on our list," he said.
While they've taken down a few built in the early 1900s, they look for barns built before 1910 because they used post and beam timber framing as opposed to stick-built barns with lots of nails.
Often they don't need to go looking for material. A good deal of their time is spent processing trees taken down by the cities' forestry departments.
"The trees on the boulevards in town, they're all getting old and starting to die. Since we've been here there's been a constant flow of hard wood being cut down in Fargo-Moorhead," he said.
After the wood is sanitized and dried in the kiln, it can be used for a number of projects such as beams, mantels, paneling and furniture.
Jaycee Heinrich, owner of Jay's Smoking BBQ , hired Stattelman to build a front counter for his restaurant on Main Avenue in Fargo.
"We gave him free rein. He took the measurements and we said, 'You do it how you want. Make it with what you want.' In the end it was way above and beyond what we could have imagined," he said. "I would definitely recommend him and give him praises."
WHAT: Hatchet & Co.
WHERE: 1608 1st Ave. N., Moorhead.
ONLINE: Hatchetwood.com or search for "Hatchet & Co" on Facebook.