Bell Lumber & Pole Completes Acquisition of Prentiss & Carlisle’s Pole Peeling Division

Bell’s acquisition of P&C’s Newport, Maine production facility supports its efforts to obtain more local pole fiber in the Northeast region.

New Brighton, MN (Feb. 1, 2024)Bell Lumber & Pole Company is pleased to announce the acquisition of a pole peeling facility and wood concentration yard in Newport, Maine from Prentiss & Carlisle – a multigenerational forest resource management and timberland services company.

The deal, which includes two full-time employees who will be added to the Bell family, means Bell customers will have even more direct access to local pole fiber in the Northeast region.

Bell plans to increase production of Red Pine utility poles at this location over time.

The acquisition brings Bell back to its roots. MJ Bell, the company’s first-generation owner and founder, grew up in Maine – it was there, growing up in the woodlands, where his vision for starting a timber business originated. In his late teens, he moved to the Midwest, launching Bell Lumber & Pole in 1909 – and the rest is history.

“It’s exciting to get back to the Maine wood basket, where the Bell family roots first started,” Tom Bell, President and fourth-generation owner of Bell Lumber & Pole, said. “Most importantly, we’re looking forward to expanding our production footprint to serve our customers in the Northeast with greater excellence and responsiveness, and we’re thrilled to add a few key new teammates to our expanding Bell family.”

“This is a win-win for both Bell and P&C,” Ben Carlisle, President of P&C, said. “The pole manufacturing business unit of P&C fits perfectly in the Bell system. Transitioning it to Bell is great for them and their customers, while allowing us to focus more on our core business of timber resource management and consulting throughout the region.”

Bell would like to thank Maine & Co. for their welcoming spirit and introductions to key Maine business leaders, like P&C. Bell is grateful for their professionalism and support.

About Bell Lumber & Pole Co.:

Since 1909, Bell has been at the forefront of the utilities sector, delivering unparalleled expertise in high-quality custom utility poles and engineered wood structures. Today, Bell also stands as a leader in full-service, turnkey mass timber projects and wood telecommunications structures.

Bell primarily services North American markets, with an expanding international footprint and production and woodlands operations in more than a dozen U.S. states and Canada.

At Bell, we offer more than just products; we provide value and services tailored to each customer’s unique requirements. Our ability to respond effectively, even in unplanned events, sets us apart in the industry. Despite our significant growth over more than a century, we remain grounded in our family-centric values, fostering a culture where both employees and customers feel valued and cared for.

Discover more about how Bell is shaping the future of the utilities, telecommunications, and mass timber industries at

About Prentiss & Carlisle:

A family-owned, multigenerational company, P&C was founded in 1924 and is now one of the nation’s most recognized and trusted forest resource advisers. Throughout its history, they have been committed to clients’ success, grown in experience and capability, and remained a firm with the highest standard of excellence.