Reclaimed Douglas Fir Timbers—Indian Lakes Hotel—Chicago, IL
The property was not just inspired by the architectural stylings of Frank Lloyd Wright- it was in fact designed by one of his students. Don Erickson, an apprentice of Wright from the late 1940s until 1951, was hired for the project with a vision that was very much Wright-inspired.
1800s RECLAIMED TIMBER CABINS - OHIO - WHITE OAK
Recently our acquisitions team came across a unique find in the reclaimed timber universe. Hidden from the world behind a more modern siding were these two dove-tail white Oak timber cabins. We salvaged both 1800 era homes as complete frames. With the right builder and some ambition- recreating their original form and design is still a possibility.
REVOLUTIONARY WAR MILL- BIG COVE TANNERY, PA- AMERICAN CHESTNUT
American Chestnut is the quintessential reclaimed wood. Decimated by a fungal blight in the early 20th century, it is no longer available as a fresh sawn wood. At Pioneer Millworks we often discover gems like this while salvaging old barns, agricultural buildings, and factories with storied history. Most of these structures have fallen out of use and into disrepair, as was the case with a large pre-Revolutionary War mill in Big Cover Tannery, PA.
CURTISS WRIGHT FACTORY—BUFFALO NY —HEART PINE, DOUGLAS FIR
Constructed by the Austin Company, the 600,000 sq ft factory building was completed in 1909 in just 90 days in Buffalo, NY. Fast forward to 2019: the factory building had reached the end of its use and the Heart Pine and Douglas fir within was looking for new life. We reclaimed in the form of timbers as the building was dismantled.
CHICAGO WAREHOUSE FIRE —CHICAGO, IL—SOUTHERN PINE
When fire consumed a massive historic warehouse in Chicago's Central Manufacturing District (CMD) in 2013, flaring up repeatedly for a week while the city endured freezing temperatures, it was considered a total loss. A large amount of the structural timbers survived. Demolition is ongoing and so far we have procured 19,000 BFof Southern longleaf pine (also known as Heart Pine*) that originally came from old growth pine forests harvested more than a century ago.
AETCO TILE MANUFACTORY—ZANESVILLE, OHIO—RED PINE
It has been 124 years since the much sought-after tiles from American Encaustic Tiling Company (AETCO) were first produced in their Ohio plant. When the time came to demolish the factory in 2015 we were able to acquire a load of Red Pine timbers, totaling around 13,000 board feet.
CENTENNIAL MILLS—PORTLAND, OR—DOUGLAS FIR
Started in 1910, Centennial Mills is an iconic site along the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon (see below for details on the mill). It is ideally situated for Portland’s riverfront preservation as a River District urban renewal area. However, the cost to rehab the many buildings brought a halt to re-construction plans.
KENTUCKY TOBACCO WAREHOUSE—LEXINGTON, KY—PINE TIMBERS
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.
A. FINKL & SONS STEEL MILL—CHICAGO, IL—DOUGLAS FIR
Pioneer Millworks recently reclaimed 67,000 board feet of Chicago’s manufacturing and industrial history from the A. Finkl & Sons steel mill. Douglas Fir timbers were extracted from the 1890s manufacturing plant that was centrally located in the Windy City along with several other steel forging factories. In 2007, an overseas firm purchased the company and the manufacturing plant moved to the southeast side of Chicago, leaving many of the historic buildings covering over 25 acres, vacant. As the demolition wrapped up in late 2014, crews ensured that nearly 90% of usable material was recycled.
CHERRY CITY—SALEM, OR—DOUGLAS FIR MARASCHINO VAT STOCK
Recently we salvaged vintage Douglas fir material from Maraschino vats in Salem, Oregon, also known as “Cherry City.” Over 60,000 board feet were rescued during demolition and are available
PHILLIPS VAN HEUSEN CLOTHING FACTORY—OZARK, AL—FOUNDRY MAPLE
Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation is mainly known for their men’s dress shirts, as they were first to invent the collar-attached dress shirt in 1920 under the Phillips-Hones Corporation. Over the decades many of their American clothing factories were closed or relocated. One of the few remaining manufacturing factories was ordered to close by May 15, 2006 as the manufacturing work was to move from Ozark, Alabama to facilities overseas. When we heard the news of the plant’s closing, we knew we’d be able to save the fashionable antique wood inside from permanently going out of season. We reclaimed 13,226 board feet of Foundry Maple with stylish colorings ranging from brown and golds, to greys with some lavender tones.
EDMONT GLOVE COMPANY—COSHOCTON, OH—FOUNDRY MAPLE
Forming in 1930s, the Edmont Manufacturing facility in Coshocton, Ohio had a hand in developing some of the most widely used gloves today. When the factory in Coshocton closed in 2011, we rescued 18,000 square feet of tongue & groove square edge Foundry Maple, preventing it from ending up in a landfill. We also rescued an additional 300 square feet with the original gray paint on the wood, plus a metal hand (more on that below).
THE AMERICAN CRAYON COMPANY—SANDUSKY, OH—FOUNDRY MAPLE
When we heard news of the closing of the historical American Crayon Company factory, we headed out to Sandusky, Ohio to rescue the wood bones of the building before it went to waste. We salvaged 2 truck-loads—that’s 24,000 board feet—of Foundry Maple. The old wood has endured thousands of footfalls, heavy machinery, and a smattering of colorful wax crayon materials.
1900'S GENERAL ELECTRIC FACTORY—BLOOMFIELD, NJ—ANTIQUE HEART PINE
Many of the buildings that were part of the General Electric Factory in Bloomfield, New Jersey were slated for demolition, their bones to be laid to rest in the landfill. Plans to demolish all but one building piqued our attention and led us to Bloomfield to prevent the wood from ending up as unnecessary waste. While the main building currently remains and is being converted into residential spaces, we reclaimed 81,500 BF of Long Leaf Heart Pine timbers as well as a small amount (15,900 BF) of Oak from several of the surrounding buildings.
ESQUIRE NOVELTY FACTORY —AMSTERDAM, NY—HEART PINE TIMBERS
Dating from the turn of the last century, the Esquire Novelty Factory building was originally part of what was known as the Mohasco mills complex. Lured to the Southern States by lucrative financial incentives, the carpet mills vacated the site in the late 1950′s and 60′s. The property remained vacant until Esquire Novelty, following the lead of several other Toy manufacturers who relocated to Amsterdam in the 1970′s and 80′s, moved into the Building #17 which once housed the weave mill.
UNION UNDERWEAR FACTORY —FAYETTE, AL—HEART PINE
A prominent supermarket that recently opened in Rochester, New York features timbers, doors, and trim crafted of reclaimed Heart Pine by Pioneer Millworks sister company, New Energy Works Timberframers, fine woodworking group, NEWwoodworks. The antique pine, also known as Southern Yellow Pine, was salvaged by Pioneer Millworks during deconstruction of the Union Underwear Inc. cotton mill and factory in Alabama.
OLYMPIC LANES—MENANDS, NY—PINE BOWLING LANES
Pioneer Millworks reclaimed a piece of pro-bowling history, re-purposing old bowling lanes into new products, preventing them from ending up in landfills, grinders, or unclean wood burners.
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RECLAIMED WOOD—NATIONAL—SETTLERS' PLANK
Pioneer Millworks’ Settlers’ Plank grade flooring is a practical recreation of the classic barn floor. Whole timbers and planks are reclaimed from barns and other agricultural buildings in the Eastern United States by our wood acquisition team. Often centuries old, the antique wood has outlived its use in the agricultural environment but finds new life in retail stores, offices, and homes across the nation.
(Settlers' Plank grade has a variety of uses from flooring to paneling, tabletops, and more.)
Pioneer Millworks carefully re-cuts and re-mills the old wood, maintaining the original saw marks, knots, wear marks, nail holes, scuffs, and naturally occurring vagaries. This more relaxed and rugged grade is available in Oak, Chestnut, and Mixed Hardwoods, offering a variety of color and grain patterns. Settlers’ Plank Mixed Hardwoods includes a number of reclaimed species from Oak to Hickory, Ash, Maple, Beech, Elm, and Chestnut.
(Our acquisition crew carefully dismantles ag buildings that have outlived their use.)
“When you think about the wood’s history, you see why it’s so prized: these timbers were cut in the late 1800’s from trees that probably started to grow in the 1600s. Now, after 100+ years supporting buildings, the timbers and planks begin anew, offering unmatched history, the beauty of tighter growth rings, greater stability, original wear marks, and deeper patinas,” says Jered Slusser, wood and design expert at Pioneer Millworks.
As the name reflects, Pioneer Millworks was a pioneer in the salvaged and reclaimed antique wood industry. They’re proud to give old wood new life as flooring, millwork, cabinetry, and more. They fully source and manufacture in the USA in Oregon and New York, in a way that’s healthy for you, their employees, and the environment. Their products offer ecologically conscious homeowners, designers, and builders an alternative to non-sustainable flooring, paneling and millwork without compromising quality, character, or selection. Pioneer Millworks is FSC®-certified and Green America approved. All of their products are LEED point eligible.
DREW FURNITURE FACTORY NORTH—WILKESBORO, NC—HICKORY, MAPLE
With the help of some demolition friends, we were able to reclaim over 100,000 feet of old wood from the original Drew Furniture Company factory in North Wilkesboro, NC. We'll give this old, often overlooked wood, new life as solid and engineered flooring, timber frames, custom cabinetry, furniture, fixtures, and millwork.
CAMERON COLLIERY—SHAMOKIN, PA—1800’S ANTIQUE TIMBERS
Recently we reclaimed timbers from the old Cameron Colliery factory in Pennsylvania. The salvaged red oak timbers were re-cut and re-sawn into a timber frame home by our sister company New Energy Works Timber Frame Homes. While the home may be new, the frame has character and history unmatched by new materials.
WEHRLE STOVE FACTORY—NEWARK, OH—HEART PINE, OAK
We salvaged over 120,000 board feet of wood during the demolition of the Wehrle Stove Factory in Newark, Ohio—wood that otherwise might have been ground to dust or ended up in a landfill. Reclaimed oak, heart pine, eastern white pine, chestnut, and a few Ohio hardwoods were reclaimed from structural timbers, flooring, and trusses. We'll repurpose the wood into solid and engineered flooring, timber frames, custom cabinetry, furniture, fixtures, millwork, and more.
NICHOLS AND STONE CHAIR COMPANY—GARDNER, MA— DOUGLAS FIR
Constructing chairs was a profitable business in the early 20th century, particularly for Nichols & Stone Chair Company. Nichols & Stone moved at the turn of the 20th century to Gardner, MA. The “Chair City” earned its nickname as it was home to 20 chair companies, including Nichols & Stone. An oversized chair, quoted to be ‘the largest in the world’ at one point, served as the local icon and homage to the factories. Over 4 million chairs were produced per year by the early 1900s in Gardner. L & J.G. Stickley purchased the Nichols & Stone name, the intellectual property and the design rights when the company terminated production in 2008.
ONONDAGA 1800S BREWERY—SYRACUSE, NY—PINE
The three-story, 1800’s brewery was owned by former Syracuse Mayor Thomas Ryan in 1865 and once brewed Ryan’s Pure Beer. With an abundant water supply, Syracuse was home to many breweries through the 1800s and 1900s. During its heyday, the timbers of this building housed several brewing companies including Haberle Brewing Co., Onondaga Brewery, Ryan’s Consumer Brewery and produced beers such as the Onondaga Lager.
MCCORMICK TRACTOR FACTORY—ROCK ISLAND, IL—ANTIQUE TIMBERS
In 1926 construction began on the huge McCormick Harvesting Machine Company Farmall tractor factory, built solely to produce Farmall tractors. It covered over 50 acres with over 5,000 employees in its prime. The factory produced the 5,000,000 Farmall tractors in 1974. It was quite a facility with generations of workers building tractors. For more on the factory click here.
SCHMIDT'S BREWERY—PHILADELPHIA, PA— HEART PINE
The 140-year old Schmidt’s Brewery in the Northern Liberties section of Philadelphia was a mammoth, 14-acre facility that employed more than 1,000 people to produce rivers of beer. The old brewhouse, which dates to the turn of the century, once looked like an opera house, with a mezzanine, decorative plaster moldings and walls of Italian marble tile.
SHEFFIELD VELOCIPEDE CAR CO. PLANT—THREE RIVERS, MI— HEART PINE
The Sheffield Velocipede Car Company was founded at Three Rivers, Michigan in the late 1870’s by George S. Sheffield. The firm’s initial product was a three-wheeled track-inspection car apparently invented by Sheffield.
LIBRARY BUREAU OF HERKIMER—HERKIMER, NY— HEMLOCK TIMBERS
In 1876 Melville Dewey started the Readers’ and Writers’ Economy Company, later renamed the Library Bureau. The company’s purpose was to furnish and equip libraries with furniture that conformed to the new American Library Association standards. Dewey, the “Father of Modern Librarianship,” is perhaps best knows for his invention of the decimal classification system that bears his name.
WELLAND CANAL TIMBERS—NIAGARA, ON— CANAL TIMBERS
The falls and rapids of the Niagara River presented a major obstacle for an uninterrupted waterway from the Atlantic Ocean to the American heartland. To circumvent the river, the Welland Canal, with its eight large locks, was built. Initiated by local businessmen, the first canal was built in 1829. The present-day Welland Canal is the fourth to be constructed. The difference of 99.5 m (326.5 feet) between the levels of Lake Ontario and Lake Erie is now overcome with eight locks and 43.4 km (27 miles) of canal.
GENERAL MOTORS FACTORY—TONAWANDA, NY— DOUGLAS FIR
The General Motors engine manufacturing plant in Tonawanda, a suburb of Buffalo, is the largest complex of its kind in the world. The 3,800 workers at this 2.5-million-square-foot engine manufacturing complex produce four, six, and eight-cylinder engines. The original GM factory was constructed in 1937 and overlooked the Niagara River.
BAYONNE MILITARY OCEAN TERMINAL—NJ—DOUGLAS FIR
The Bayonne facility was opened by the Navy in 1942 as a logistics and repair base. In 1967, the peninsula became a US Army base. It was an enormous shipping terminal and had the largest drydock on the eastern seaboard.
ROYAL CANADIAN AIRFORCE HANGERS—CANADA— DOUGLAS FIR
At the start of the Second World War, the British government looked to the Empire and Dominions for air training support. Between 1940 and 1945, some 151 schools were established across Canada, with a ground organization of 104,113 men and women.
UNITED STATES LEATHER COMPANY—NJ--HEART PINE
DELAWARE & HUDSON RAILROAD—ONEONTA, NY—HEART PINE AND WHITE PINE
The Delaware & Hudson railroad was one of the oldest continually operating transportation companies in the country. The company's roots were as a Pennsylvania-based canal company in 1828, operating from Honesdale, PA to Kingston, NY. Through the construction of its first railroad line in 1868, expansions, leases, and acquisitions, the D&H became known as "The Bridge Line", linking central Pennsylvania with Canada, through subsidiary Napierville Junction south of Montreal. As the railroad grew, their need for centralized maintenance facilities became apparent.
MERSMAN TABLE FACTORY —CELINA, OH—RECLAIMED TIMBERS
The Mersman Table Factory was built in 1905. If you do a Google search under "Mersman Table Factory" you will also find some interesting information linking the Lindbergh baby kidnapping to a Mersman table.
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