Sinker Cypress – The Gentle Giants of the South Part Two

After the Civil War and during reconstruction, things were chaotic in the south.  There was an abundance of cheap land, much of which was bought up by northern lumber and timber interest who needed a new source. The easiest way to access the longleaf pines near rivers was to cut through the bald cypress and create a road that led to them. Loggers then went to great lengths to girdle the trees in hopes of decreasing their weight in preparation to float them down river to sawmills. They would also use man-made auger holes to place a pole between one tree which had been girdled and one which had not to float them down the river. Sometimes this technique would work. However, when this strategy failed, trees would sink to the bottom and be lost.  These are the trees we recover and transform into our beautiful antique heart pine and heart cypress wood flooring, paneling and ceilings.

As you can see, there is much, much more to sinker cypress than meets the eye.  Enjoy part two of Sinker Cypress – The Gentle Giants of the South:

Sinker Cypress – The Gentle Giants of the South: Part One

Goodwin’s resident history enthusiast, Jeffrey Forbes, describes the origins of River-Recovered® Heart Cypress – a.k.a. sinker cypress.  Hundreds of years ago, the Suwannee River ran “clear”, more like a spring, as opposed to the murky waters we know today.  Both sides of the river were literally walls of bald cypress (a.k.a. tidewater red cypress, sinker cypress). These gentle giants were more than 100 feet tall and 2000-3000 years old. Behind the wall of bald cypress you would find millions acres of longleaf pine, which Goodwin also recovers today.

Goodwin recently recovered a 35 foot long sinker cypress log that was left by loggers of yesteryear in the Withlacoochee river (which runs into the Suwannee) hundreds of years ago.  Much of it has now been milled and is being used at the Bok Tower Gardens expansion project in Lake Wales, Florida.  This is what sustainable design is all about.  Rather than cut down forests, Goodwin recovers antique logs from river bottoms for architects and interior designers to incorporate into award-winning, sustainable designs. Homeowners love the wood because it is not only beautiful and durable, but it comes with an intriguing and rich story behind its origin.

The above video is the first in a multi-part series outlining the “story” behind  these gentle giants of the south.  Enjoy!

A Professor’s Perspective of Sinker Cypress and Heartpine

image06175142651We enjoyed vising with Penn State University professor Dr. Chuck Roy and visiting professor Dr. Ivan Sopushynskyy from the Ukraine. Dr. Roy described their approach to Goodwin in an illustrative e-mail to us:

“I could sense Ivan’s anticipation mount as we turned off the highway. We’d been seeing nothing but southern pine and swamps for awhile, and he seemed to know he was about to experience something completely different from the Carpathian mountains.”

Thank you for posting these most interesting highlights from your visit with us:

We appreciated the opportunity to host you and demonstrate how we turn River-Recovered® and reclaimed antique heart pine and heart cypress into the world’s most beautiful and exclusive wood flooring and paneling.

Are you interested in learning more about sinker cypress and other antique wood? Give us a call to schedule a personized and complimentary tour of our facility.