Rolling into Kentucky Tobacco country

By Kevin Weyrauch

We recently acquired some handsome pine timbers that were salvaged out of a Kentucky tobacco warehouse. This structure was a part of a mammoth complex which—at its peak—offered over 8 million cubic feet of storage space along a major rail line. A casualty of the steady decline in tobacco farming, these buildings have been decommissioned and, by the end of the year, will be entirely dismantled. 

Alex, our Acquisitions Leader, was able to take a trip down south this summer and visit this site while there was still something to photograph. As for the timbers, they're stunning. Almost entirely free of demolition damage and rot, these pine beams have a beautiful, unpainted, circle-sawn texture and mocha brown patina. Best of all, they come in dimensions that architects, engineers, and designers, are always asking for 8 x 8" and 8 x 12". Alex's only complaint is that they don't have even the faintest hint of tobacco aroma—they just smell like wood. That's not so bad though, is it?

With the furniture factory out of use and falling into disrepair, destruction of the building began. Some materials ended their journey in landfills or grinders, while we rescued 70,000 board feet of timbers, 80,000 square feet of flooring, and 80,000 square feet of sub-floor material. Some of the reclaimed square oak timbers are as large as 8”x16”. A mixture of flooring species was salvaged including oak, hickory, and maple. Much of the flooring has no paint, which is unusual for a structure of this age. The board widths vary from 2.25” and 3.25” while the original oak sub-floor offered wider 4” to 8” planks.

Kentucky Timbers

Kentucky Tobacco 16

Kentucky Tobacco 15

Kentucky Tobacco