The Value and Rarity of Antique Reclaimed Flooring

Olde Wood fir trees photo
Photos courtesy of Olde Wood Limited

From burning to freezing temperatures, droughts to floods, and sun to shade, one thing always stands tall with strength and dignity…old growth trees. Since the beginning of time, trees have been a part of our landscapes. For centuries, they have been rooted in America, absorbing its rich history and the soul of mother nature. As the nation evolves, these trees continue to stand tall as they mature and develop countless growth rings to share their story.

Olde Wood_Schumacher Lumber
1 F. E. Schumacher Company Employees Photographs. (2009). Ohio History Connection. photograph, Hartville. Retrieved from https://ohiomemory.org/digital/collection/p267401coll36/id/6627.

As trees age, their growth rings multiply and tighten, producing a denser, firmer, stronger, and more-defined wood. These rings not only show the tree’s age, but also detail the environment and conditions encountered throughout its lifetime. Old-growth trees can share their age and authenticity in a manner that beautifully elevates an already superior product. Some of these old-growth tree species are now either extinct or protected; however, they continue to inspire others to find wood that carries its unique history and character.

Centuries ago, craftsmen who discovered timber spread throughout the forests utilized these materials to build structures that still stand today. Much like the old-growth trees, these barns and factories endure natural and unnatural elements producing a look and feel that will not compare to any other barn. The mastery of these craftsmen not only set the precedent for architectural integrity, but also a desire to preserve American history, and many are yearning for unique reclaimed material from the historical past.

One of these we have had the luxury of being a part of is The F.E. Schumacher Lumber Company. Opening its doors back in the late 1800s, Frank and Henry Leurtis ‘Lert’ Schumacher established the Schumacher Brothers of Hartville, Ohio, to manufacture ladders and screen doors in 1889. The company became the F. E. Schumacher Company in 1908, when Frank and his son, George Schumacher, purchased the remaining interest in the business, which expanded its products to include window screens, storm sashes, and ventilators.”¹

The building, like the business that was created by this family, was built with an amazing foundation. Enormous white oak beams measuring more than 20” in width are featured throughout most of the campus. Additionally, a beautiful wormy chestnut, rift and quartered white oak, and Douglas fir were integrated to build the floors and departments of this unique structure. Some were covered by heavy steel guards and layers of flooring, and others exposed to show their aged beauty. However, all awaited the opportunity to one day be renewed through our reclamation process.

Craftsmen, hundreds of years ago, found the natural strength, durability, and authenticity old-growth trees have to offer. Products made from authentic antique reclaimed wood are priceless. There will be no other like it. The rarity of the structure, the original designer’s plan and ideas, are original and unique. The wood itself cannot be recreated, and it’s therefore considered a treasure or antiquity that could, by all rights, be museum-worthy. Instead, these prized possessions are being redefined as beautiful representations of our historic landscape for all to see in the comfort of their own home. A masterpiece on display for generations to come.

Through the help of revolutionary processes and intricate labor, the wood from these structures can be brought back to life as precision milled hardwood flooring. At Olde Wood Limited, we use carefully crafted material that has been salvaged, reclaimed, and masterfully restored from the elements of vintage barns, turn-of-the-century buildings, and other historic structures.

 

From antique reclaimed oak that was once used to build early settlements, to rare antique reclaimed American walnut, each hand-inspected piece of our wide plank flooring bears a history and personality that gracefully tells a story through the knots, nail holes, peg holes, stress cracks, and saw marks mixed within the beautiful color and rich patina.

Craftsmen, hundreds of years ago, found the natural strength, durability, and authenticity
old-growth trees have to offer. Products made from authentic antique reclaimed wood are priceless. There will be no other like it. The rarity of the structure, the original designer’s plan and ideas, are original and unique. The wood itself cannot be recreated, and it’s therefore considered a treasure or antiquity that could, by all rights, be museum-worthy. Instead, these prized possessions are being redefined as beautiful representations of our historic landscape for all to see in the comfort of their own home. A masterpiece on display for generations to come.

Kris Young is the vice president of Olde Wood Limited in Magnolia, Ohio. For more information about the company, call 866.208.9663 or visit oldewoodltd.com.

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