Why Reclaimed Wood?
Wood has always been a popular building material for the simple reason that its beauty adapts to time and changing styles and tastes. The buildings from which we get our reclaimed wood may have outlived their usefulness, but the wood is ready to serve for another 100 years. Antique reclaimed flooring and paneling have an ageless look like no other.
Think green! Green building practices are those that seek to conserve water, energy, land and materials during construction as well as during the lifetime of the home. Simply put, green building contractors “Reduce, renew and recycle.” Using reclaimed (salvaged) wood is the ultimate in recycling, and it’s a growing trend that’s eco-friendly and stylish.
Each board has its own unique character or personality with distinguishing authentic nail holes, markings, and patina that tell its life story. Reclaimed wood is often from old-growth trees, meaning trees that were much older and larger than trees generally harvested today. Old-growth provided wood rich in character.
The need for recycling wood was born with the realization that most reclaimed wood is of higher quality than anything else on the market today. Reclaimed, antique wood has been through decades of seasonal expanding and contracting cycles, making it even more stable than new wood.
Reclaimed Wood Sources
The majority of our current reclaimed wood supply comes from the Hamilton building in Two Rivers, WI. The Hamilton building was built by pioneer James Edward Hamilton. The manufacturing complex was built over a 40-year period from the 1880s to the 1920s and covered 12 acres of waterfront property. The business started as developing wood type and expanded in 1885 to include furniture and cabinets. The growth continued and by 1889 the Hamilton Manufacturing Company was situated in the largest factory complex of its kind in the world. The complex was purchased in 1992 by what is now known as Thermo Fisher Scientific. Things went downhill in the mid-2000’s and in the fall of 2012 the remaining 200 employees were let go. This manufacturing complex was the heart of Two Rivers for 130 years. The material that we have acquired from this historic manufacturing plant is reclaimed hemlock, reclaimed Norwegian pine, and reclaimed douglas fir. This wood when cleaned up and finished tells a story of its own and we feel fortunate that we are able to bring it back to life.
We also have acquired some reclaimed hemlock from a similar structure in Manitowoc, WI. The building was built in the early 1900s. It started out as the Manitowoc Aluminum Goods Manufacturing Company and later became the Mirro factory in 1957. It was shut down in 2003 and has been vacant ever since.
Our remaining reclaimed wood comes from various barns and buildings from around Wisconsin.