In 1900 Emma Murphy, a widow, 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. Then Knapp's son Warren later took over ownership of the business and in 1963 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.
During this time Jim Kalber, the present owner of Knapp Mill and Cabinet Compnay was growing up in Carmel.
In 1975 Jim, in his early twenties acquired a contractors license and started his own construction business. 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 his father and a friend backed Jim of additional homes. Jim completed 8 homes in this subdivision and followed this with more construction up at Quail Lodge and up on Dormody Rd. 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.
Though Jim was the young new owner of an established business, his seasoned staff of cabinet makers and his step-dad's office manager, Mildred Raymond respected his construction background and were there to help. Mildred had been with the company since 1963 and provided a smooth transiton for Jim, she could read plans better then most architects and contiued to work beside Jim till she retired at the age of 93.
Jim continues to provide great leadership, business savy and the knowledge that customers want high-quality work, that is reliably provided in a timely fashion at affordable prices and continues with this straight forward approach knowing this has what made Knapp Mill & Cabinet Company a successful busines for this long.