What exactly is deadhead logging? Deadhead logging is the removal of tree logs preserved underwater that were previously cut down during Florida’s logging boom in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Back in the day, the idea was to cut virgin logs in hopes they would float down rivers, eventually arriving at sawmills for processing. Our very own George Goodwin started his method of extracting river logs from the Suwannee River in the mid-1970s. Careful logging practices involve removing logs in an eco-friendly way, ensuring the surrounding environment and wildlife remain undisturbed.
Fun fact: Deadhead logs are named this way because the small end of the log floats around like a head out of the water!
Roughly ten years after George began pulling upriver logs, other loggers started following in his footsteps. Issues started to occur, like disrupting fishermen and interrupting people trying to enjoy the river. But perhaps the most prominent issue involving river loggers during this time period was the logs were not extracted from the river sustainably. The need for some sort of protocol designed to protect the environment became apparent quickly.
George began his journey meeting with politicians and suggested ways the State of Florida could regulate river log recovery in an environmentally sound manner. George requested meetings with the Department of Submerged Lands and the Department of Environmental Protection, the Sierra Club, the Nature Conservancy, and other organizations. Goodwin offered to demonstrate the correct way to recover these logs, which took place on the Suwannee, Apalachicola, and the Choctawhatchee Rivers. George showed the observing loggers and state officials how to tie off both ends of the log so it did not drag on the river bottom. Goodwin explained how there were many logs on the river bottom; however, most were second growth downed by storms and not worth recovering. Next, demonstrations were performed that taught how to tell log differences by examining the density of the growth rings on the end of the logs. Last but not least, we helped organize the curriculum for a Master Log Recovery Class that is required to pass for loggers in the state of Florida.
By the mid-1990s, Goodwin succeeded in helping create an environmental permit program proposal to present to the Florida legislature. Part of the permit required providing an archeological survey of the area of the river to be logged to prove that ancient sites and endangered species were not disrupted. Former Governor Lawton Chiles signed the permit into law in 1998. Goodwin Company also succeeded in owning the Federally Registered Trademark for the term ‘River Recovered®’, pioneered by our very own George Goodwin!
Since 1976, Goodwin has been manufacturing gorgeous, antique wood of people’s dreams! Over the years, we have heard common myths and misconceptions about wood flooring. We want to put them to rest! A common misconception we’ve heard throughout time is that forests diminish to produce wood for residential homes and commercial spaces. This is simply not true! In fact, having a wood floor is a very sustainable and environmentally friendly choice! Wood is a renewable natural resource. According to National Geographic, “renewable resources are an energy source that cannot be depleted and are able to supply a continuous source of clean energy.” Wood is a living organism and gathers its energy from the sun, as well as soil nutrients. Wood will continue to grow back after a forest is harvested.
River-Recovered® logs were previously cut down over a hundred years ago and have been sitting perfectly preserved underwater. We store our River-Recovered® logs in our log pond on the property, where we have about 700 logs resting. Often, we have several critters that like to rest on these logs in our pond, like turtles, birds, and occasionally alligators! Our founder George Goodwin started recovering logs from rivers in the 70s. His approach at pulling logs from the river was careful and sustainable; to make sure other wildlife remained undisrupted. With the help of environmental organizations, George aided with establishing Florida’s Deadhead Logging Permit. This permit ensures other river loggers recover logs from rivers in environmentally sound ways.
But not all of our wood that we produce originates from river logs; Goodwin also offers reclaimed and sustainably harvested wood! Our Legacy collection includes heart pine that was once used in buildings dating as far back as the Industrial Revolution Era. These boards oftentimes include previous staining and nail holes, showcasing the wood’s marks of time. Our Renaissance collection consists of grades that have been rescued and/or sustainably harvested, including old-growth trees that fell during storms! Instead of this wood going to mills that do not practice lean manufacturing or wood even being destroyed, Goodwin swoops in to repurpose and give second chances. We breathe new life into this wood, and hope to give it a new forever home! Our goal is to give the most life out of the logs that are ready to be utilized.
You’ve probably seen featured photos before of ceilings designed with Goodwin wood! But have you seen a ceiling made up of our stunning River-Recovered® Curly Heart Pine?
Take a look at this foyer ceiling appointed with Goodwin’s curly heart pine by our friend, Ryland Wagner, of Joyner Construction! Ryland is restoring and remodeling his mid-century modern home in Gainesville, Florida. This project required 60 whole square feet of our 3 ¼ curly heart pine. An accent ceiling is an excellent way to draw the eye upwards and to dress an area with an outside-of-the-box approach. Here are a few pictures of the ceiling in progress:
Ryland has lived in this house since 2002 and started the remodeling process back in December. The house was built in 1969 by the University of Florida Architecture. Dan Branch was the architect believed to have built the house. Decades ago, the architecture classes at the University of Florida would map out and design a house the first semester of class. In the following semester, the class would actually build the house! This eventually stopped when the City Building Department took greater control of inspections in the 1970’s. Ryland says his goals in the remodeling of his home were “to match the design intent of Dan Branch and his class”. The project is expected to be completed in June 2021, with more pictures of the finished product to come!
Our River-Recovered® Curly Heart Pine is extremely rare! In fact, it is SO rare it’s only found in just the outer boards of 400 – 500 logs that we mill. The grain is curly and burled, with luminous vibrant colors and a variety of tones. We mill this wood much slower than traditional antique heart pine to guarantee that the burled grain remains intact. Curly heart pine is the perfect wood to use as an accent, and its pattern often looks three-dimensional, holographic, and even topographic at times. It is truly a unique, desirable type of wood!
Working with Joyner Construction Partners
Ryland is a project manager at Joyner Construction Partners, LLC. Where he works alongside his father, Richard. Goodwin has also partnered with Joyner Construction for previous projects, including:
You can click the links to see the photos and videos of the projects we collaborated with Joyner Construction to create!