In 1900 widow Emma Murphy brought her 15 year old son Michael J. Murphy and 10 year old daughter Myrtle to Carmel-by-the-Sea. Emma had read about this new village and believed her son, a trained carpenter, would quickly find work.
By 1902 Michael was working for Franklin Devendorf, building homes in Carmel, and became the chief builder for the Carmel Development Company in 1904. In 1914, Mr. Devendorf helped Murphy open his own contracting business and lumber and building supply store in town (located where Carmel Plaza is today).
Over 300 buildings are attributed to Michael J. Murphy, most notably the Highlands Inn, Carmel Art Association, Harrison Memorial Library, and the Pine Inn.
In 1945, a Mr. Knapp bought the lumber mill and supply store from MJ Murphy and renamed the business, Knapp Mill & Cabinet Company. Knapp’s son Warren would later took over ownership of the business and relocated the Mill and Cabinet Business from the Plaza location in Carmel-by-the-Sea to its present location on Foam Street in the City of Monterey in 1963.
During this time Jim Kalber, the owner of Knapp Mill and Cabinet Company until 2019, was growing up in Carmel. In 1975, Jim acquired a contractor’s license and started his own construction business in his early twenties. He started by buying a couple lots on spec in a new subdivision called ‘Carmel Views’ at the mouth of Carmel Valley. With the completion of these homes, Jim received backing from his father and a friend to build additional homes. Jim completed 8 homes in this subdivision and followed this with more construction at Quail Lodge and Dormody Road, in the gated community of San Clemente Rancho.
Though Jim’s business was thriving after five years the interest rates began to make building homes on speculation a less secure investment. In 1980 his step-father Warren Knapp felt it was time to retire. Jim had successfully built over 20 homes, with custom cabinets, doors, and windows but decided it was a good time to make a career change and bought his step fathers business- Knapp Mill & Cabinet Company.
With the change of ownership, Knapp Mill and Cabinets Company has become Knapp Mill & Cabinets LLC. Olivier Galgani is the new General Manager, managing the front office and performing the day to day sales and customer service function. Shop production is still led by our extraordinarily talented Master Craftsman, Jan Safranek. We have also brought back four other Master Craftsmen who worked for Knapp in the past, increasing our talent pool to over 100 years of combined experience. Knapp Mill & Cabinets LLC continues to produce reliable high-quality work in a timely manner.