R.S. Monger & Sons, Inc. (Mongers) started business in the late spring of 1922 by selling sand and lumber. After graduating from Bridgewater college, Ralph Showalter (R.S.) Monger and two other employees sold, loaded, and delivered the materials to the Shenandoah Valley. Later, coal and other building materials would be added to the inventory. The materials were stored in a 30’ x 60’ building and were delivered by horse-drawn wagons.
In 1928, a cider mill was built on the premises and was operated until 1934. Mongers also received permission from C & W Railroad to build bridges across Blacks Run. A total of three bridges were built along with a coal tipple to unload coal. Mongers also rented a 150-foot lot from C & W Railroad where the present office is located on Chesapeake Ave. in Harrisonburg and built a small temporary office and scales. In 1935, Monger’s became incorporated. In 1938, William (K.) Kaylor Monger (son of
R.S.) began working full-time in the office upon graduating from Virginia
In 1941, John Henry Monger Sr. (son of R.S.) graduated from Virginia Tech with a commission and entered WWII in Asia. In 1942, K. followed John Sr. in service, serving in Europe. During this time, R.S. and his wife Lillye ran the business, with most of the responsibilities falling upon Lillye due to R.S.’ failing health. In 1946, K. and John Sr. returned home from the war and actively ran the business making executive decisions with R.S. and Lillye’s approval. From 1946 to 1947, the building which stands over Blacks Run was built. Also, in 1947, Mongers bought the 150-foot property they were leasing from the railroad and built a permanent office.
In 1968, the front office burned down and was rebuilt. During this time, the scales were modernized and are the same scales used today. In 1972 John Monger III (son of John Sr.) started working full-time in the office upon graduation from Virginia Commonwealth University. In 1978, James (Jim) Monger (son of John Sr.) returned from Northern Virginia where he had been working since graduating from Virginia Tech, to work full-time in the office.
In the 1980s, two more lumber and plywood warehouses were built. In 1987, Susan Monger Shifflett (daughter of K.) left her teaching career and began to work full-time at Mongers in administration and accounting with a degree from Bridgewater College. In 1989, the moulding building burned and was rebuilt.
In 1994 and 1995, two new lumber sheds were added to the grounds, and a showroom was added to the front office area. In 1996 after studying at West Virginia University, James (Jim) Higgs (son of Susan) began working full-time in the office. Also in 1996, Mongers developed Monger Park in Mount Crawford, Va. This consisted of two little league baseball fields and three soccer fields for youth sports.
In 2000, while still in school and working part-time, Jay and Matthew Monger (sons of Jim Monger) developed a new computerized sales system that launched January 1st, 2001. In 2002, Jay Monger started full-time with the company. In 2003, R.S. Mongers purchased the Rockingham Feed Mill at the North-end of Chesapeake Ave to be used for storage of materials. Two years later in 2005, Mongers purchased more warehouse space from Chesapeake Western Railroad that was connected to the original office building. Also, 2 more warehouses, formerly known as the M.O. Showalter & Sons Fruit and Produce and the Miller Fuel Station, were purchased from Miller Fuel Company for storage. These are now referred to as the Showalter and Miller Fuel buildings.
In 2006, after graduating from Roanoke College, John (JM) Monger IV (son of John III) started working full time in the office. In 2007, with the growing demands and more options readily available, a new showroom was installed in the existing warehouse, connected to the original office. In 2011, Mongers partnered with Marvin Windows and Doors to provide high quality windows and doors to the Shenandoah Valley.
In 2012, Dakota Higgs (son of Jim Higgs) began working full-time for the company. This marked the first of the 5 generations of Mongers to be working at R.S. Monger & Sons. Carol Stickley (granddaughter of K.) began working full-time alongside Susan in administration and accounting.
In 2013, Jim Higgs was named President and JM Monger was named Secretary Treasurer of RS Monger & Sons.
In 2014, Mongers expanded their cabinetry department to provide 3D designs and plans for kitchens, baths, and more. In 2016, Mongers began remodeling the Railroad Depot at the Corner of Chesapeake Ave. and Bruce Street. A Marvin window and door showroom was built on the first floor, three office suites were built on the second floor, and the rear of the building was designated for warehouse storage.
RS Monger & Sons, Inc. has grown from one small building with three employees and horse-drawn wagons for deliveries to approximately 15 buildings, 40 employees, and a fleet of 25 vehicles.