Sawing Sinker Cypress

Antique Heart Cypress is one of only a few remaining prehistoric tree species. Goodwin Company is proud to specialize in working with sinker cypress. Check out this video demonstrating how Goodwin transforms River-Recovered® Heart Cypress logs into gorgeous wood paneling and ceilings:

Rescued from a North West Florida river bottom, the River-Recovered log in the video displays an ax cut end, dating its harvest prior to 1870.  This was before the large scale introduction of the steam engine and arrival of the railroad in Florida.  The sheer size of these logs attest to their age, and, with an approximate diameter of 3ft or greater, their size allows for larger cuts unattainable in modern cypress. Each log has at least eight growth rings per inch… and often times more. The unique tight, fine grain gives antique Heart Cypress a soft graceful pattern that varies from warm honey and cinnamon tones through to light chocolate coloring in its grain.

Goodwin founder George Goodwin has been the company sawyer for over 40 years.  He saws each log to ensure the most wood is preserved with each cut.  The mill carries the sawn wood down along a conveyer belt to its first level of grading by Goodwin’s specialists. After grading, the boards are cut into standard widths, placed in the kiln and later moulded into heart cypress flooring and paneling as featured in the modern offices of RRSimmons.

A Search for Quality

When did we stop reaching for the most inexpensive item on the shelf at the grocery store? When did grabbing a carton of milk or eggs on our way home from work become result of a series of ethical decisions?  A few years ago, I would have scanned the refrigerated section of the grocery for the least expensive carton of eggs, put them in my cart, then moved on to the next item on my grocery list — 2% milk with the latest expiration date.

But recently, I have noticed myself analyzing my purchases with greater detail before I make a purchase. A quick Google search led me to a list of all the varieties of eggs sold at my local supermarket: organic, free-range, naturally pasteurized, vegetarian, and the list goes on. In choosing the type of eggs I want to buy, I also have to consider the packaging of the eggs. If I buy the plastic carton, it will hold up long enough to be reused when my roommate brings eggs home from her coworker’s farm. But if I buy the paper carton, it will recycle most easily and doesn’t require any plastic.

Why did such a small task begin to involve so many decisions? I think it is a result of our increased demand for quality. We have all heard that ignorance is bliss, but with limitless information at our fingertips, we can no longer claim ignorance. As a result, our culture is becoming more ethically concerned. This means we are looking for products that meet our needs, but we also want to spend our money investing in the local economy, and caring for the environment. Maybe this is why the millennial generation has also been called the “civic generation”—a name earned by our desire to care for place—the environment in which we invest our lives.[1] We crave uncomplicated quality and authenticity in our spaces.

I have found that nothing brings these elements to a space as effortlessly as nature itself. Natural light, plants, or even an earthy color palette can bring the simplicity and life we crave in our spaces. But nothing has the same transformative impact as wood. It brings the outdoors in while contributing a durability and livability unique to the material. As a product of nature, it does not try to mimic the life we wish to find in our spaces but exposes the authenticity and history innate to the material. We see this in the pictures below that show the transformation that Goodwin’s heart pine LEGACY®  floors had on the historic Firestone building in downtown Gainesville, Florida.

The tongue and groove flooring in this room are building recovered, meaning they were once beams in 19th century industrial buildings in the U.S. The reuse of this wood speaks to its strength as well as the sustainability of the product. A room long forgotten and left lifeless is now a hidden gem in the city…and it’s available for lease starting November 2016!

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A Search for QualityGuest Post by Lauren Corley

Lauren Corley is a guest author for Goodwin and is a senior in the Innovation Academy at the University of Florida studying Sustainability in the Built Environment with a minor in Innovation. She began her involvement with Goodwin at the 2015 Greenbuild conference in Washington D.C. She is from the Panhandle of Florida and gained an interest for sustainability and its use in space as a high school student. Since moving to Gainesville she has interned for the Repurpose Project as well as the Alachua County Public Schools under the Energy Conservation Specialist.

[1] Morley Winograd, and Michael D. Hais. Millenial Momentum: How a Generation Is Remaking America. New Brunswick, New Jersey, and London: Rutgers UP. Web. 10 Apr. 2016.

Pop-A-Top

We were so excited to visit the new Pop-A-Top General Store at Depot Park. Goodwin’s Legacy heart pine floors and wall paneling make the old depot look as it did when it was first built in 1859[1]. Once a gathering place for travelers, the old train depot is now a community space again—but this time it is a congregation area for those who want to kick back and stay a while.  Park-goers can even stop in for a cool drink in a nostalgic atmosphere.

Goodwin is proud to have been a part of this renovation project. We provided our Legacy heart pine flooring back in 2012. Now, with the opening of the park, we have seen the space come alive. We love this type of project because it is both sustainable design and historic restoration through and through. At Goodwin, we get to see forgotten, antique wood brought to life each day. We understand the value of our history and its integral role in shaping our future.

 

Pop A TopGuest Post by Lauren Corley

Lauren Corley is a guest author for Goodwin and is a senior in the Innovation Academy at the University of Florida studying Sustainability in the Built Environment with a minor in Innovation. She began her involvement with Goodwin at the 2015 Greenbuild conference in Washington D.C. She is from the Panhandle of Florida and gained an interest for sustainability and its use in space as a high school student. Since moving to Gainesville she has interned for the Repurpose Project as well as the Alachua County Public Schools under the Energy Conservation Specialist.

[1] https://www.theclio.com/web/entry?id=21025

Dreams Do Come True… Sometimes They Are Just a Long Time in the Making!

Several years ago, we noticed an increase in the demand for pre-finished wood flooring.  So, we set out to find someone who was considered the best of the best in the industry to work with us.  It took three years before Dan Petersen appeared at our door after being introduced to us by a colleague. Dan is one of the best pre-finished wood experts in the business, as evidenced by the specially formulated finishes he has developed specifically for Goodwin.  Dan is talented and can provide the hardest finish on the market, produce any custom color unique to you and incorporate textures that look great on reclaimed wood.  Not to mention he is one of the smartest and nicest people you will ever meet! Dan operates Heritage Wood Finish Company here at Goodwin.

Finding Dan was only the first step.  Next, we needed a new building.  We drew up plans and applied to the County Growth Management office for a building permit for a factory finish facility. The County initially denied our request.  Today – after three more years of engineering, environmental and legal studies – we are very close to finally having our building.

As you can see, the turtles in our log pond are just as anxious as we are for it to be complete!

Dreams Do Come True… Sometimes They Are Just a Long Time in the Making!

Goodwin is one of the most fortunate companies, as we have been doing what we love for over 40 years. George Goodwin started pulling and sawing River-Recovered® logs in the mid-seventies and today he is still the company sawyer. He could hardly be happier!

Thank you, George, for an incredible 40 years. Here’s to our wildest successes yet to come!

The Goodwin Difference… Together, We Are as Strong as Our Wood!

  • Original River-Recovered® heart pine and heart cypress specialists
  • First reclaimed engineered floor “Made in the USA” right here at our mill
  • Environmentally, kid and pet friendly factory finishes, custom color and textures
  • Oldest family-owned and operated reclaimed wood company in the United States
  • River-Recovered and reclaimed flooring, paneling, siding, stair parts, moldings and lumber, solid/engineered, finished / unfinished

Please enjoy these photos of our new building – we are almost there!

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!

When We Say Custom Crafted…

Did you know we have a huge pond filled with sinker heart pine logs right behind our mill? When we say custom crafted, we mean it!

As you know, George Goodwin is the pioneer of the River-Recovered® process. Goodwin Company has been recovering sinker logs from river bottoms for 40 years and turning them into the most beautiful wood flooring, wood paneling and wood ceilings in the world. We do not immediately mill all the logs we recover; instead, some find a temporary home in our log pond, which is the best way to preserve them until needed. This isn’t a new idea either. Historically, mill sites were often accompanied by log ponds as a way to preserve and easily move their raw materials. When you place a custom order, many times we head to the pond, select a nice sinker heart pine log and mill it just for you!

Sustainable design is the heart of what we do. Building design professionals work with us because we not only partner with them every step of the way, but our eco-friendly process and high quality, sustainable products qualify for LEED credits. Homeowners contact us because they desire more than a store-bought floor in a box that will likely not wear well and will need to be replaced in a few years. Our sustainable wood flooring, paneling and ceilings are handcrafted from centuries old sinker logs and are designed to provide you and your family with a quality product that can be enjoyed for generations to come!

Take a quick peek at our large and impressive heart pine log pond:

Ready for us to begin handcrafting your new wood floor, ceiling or paneling? Please give us a call!

A Professor’s Perspective of Sinker Cypress and Heartpine

A Professor’s Perspective of Sinker Cypress and HeartpineWe 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.