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Our “Gentle Giant” Continues to Evolve!

We were excited to have an opportunity to work with Florida Crotchwood Mobile Sawmill. Paula and Randy came out to Goodwin and helped George saw 3″ thick, four-foot wide and 10-foot long River-Recovered Heart Cypress slabs off the end of our “Gentle Giant”. Read more

River Logger Black Lager – Now Available at Swamp Head Brewery!

Swamp Head Brewery

We are excited to announce Swamp Head Brewery in Gainesville is launching a new beer. Jeffrey, our Marketing Coordinator, helped with the name – River Logger Black Lager.

River Logger Black Lager is inspired by the richness and rarity of centuries old River-Recovered® logs. This light and refreshing German-style black lager features a depth of color and taste exemplified by the uniqueness of antique River-Recovered® wood. And, with just a hint of chocolate pairing with the light bitterness of the hops, this summer treat is sure to satisfy the most distinguished of tastes. Read more

Undersecretary of USDA Rural Development Visits Goodwin Company

Goodwin Company was honored to welcome Ms. Lisa Mensah – the Undersecretary of USDA Rural Development – for a tour of our facility. Ms. Mensah was nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in November 2014. She provides leadership for three USDA agencies charged with improving the economic well being of rural America: the Rural Housing Service, the Rural Utilities Service and the Rural Business-Cooperative Service. Read more

Modern Antique

Remember this beauty?

Since we don’t come across logs of this magnitude very often, our marketing coordinator Jeffrey thought it might be neat to re-create a classic photo from the 1800s depicting loggers posing with a fresh cut giant cypress back in the day.

Jeffrey staged our staff around the log in the exact positions as the 1800s loggers.  We think it is a spectacular modern-day replica.  What do you think?

 

Our Newest “Gentle Giant”

giantcypresslog 001 (Medium)After nearly 40 years in the business, one would think we have seen it all. The truth is, each and every day is an exciting adventure that presents new opportunities. The logs we work with to create our River-Recovered® heart pine and heart cypress flooring, paneling and other wood products are simply majestic. Each has its own distinct character and personality. Logger Don McCallister recently pulled this Cypress beauty out of the northern Withlacoochee River.

giantcypresslog 005 (Medium)This “Gentle Giant “ is 30 feet long; 29″ in diameter at its top and an amazing six feet in diameter at its base.

giantcypresslog 006 (Medium)Just take a look at this incredible ax cut end.

The log was discovered while Goodwin’s Marketing Coordinator, Jeffrey Forbes, was on the Withlacoochee hosting a documentary video crew. It was the first log they saw. It was still submerged in the river and its head was resting on a sandy beach. The log served as the perfect “subject” for the documentary, which we will share when it is complete.

Here is a bit of background on river logging along Withlacoochee (for you history buffs):

This giant cypress log was recovered on the part of the Withlacoochee that flows south out of Georgia and meets up with the Suwannee River at Suwannee River State Park. There once was a sawmill owned by Governor George Drew (Florida’s first governor post reconstruction) at what is now Suwannee River State Park. This log likely once belonged to this mill before it was “lost”.

Goodwin will now saw this antique beauty into a series of benches for the expansion of the Bok Tower campus in Lake Wales. Stay tuned, as we will continue to update you on the progress of this Gentle Giant…

Florida Farm Bureau Features Goodwin

15-03- 022Special thank you to the Florida Farm Bureau for featuring Goodwin in the March 2015 issue of their magazine, FloridAgricultureCheck it out here – our story begins on page 4:

A Breathtaking Display of Goodwin’s Various Wood Species

We are honored that Kimal Lumber on Fruitville Road in Sarasota, Florida chose to use Goodwin wood for their showroom office remodel. The owner, Al Bavry, is a wonderful person and a very knowledgeable professional. We certainly appreciated the opportunity to work with him!

The job turned out so well, Kimal is also using the office as a Goodwin display. The area features selections of most all of the wood Goodwin offers, including engineered, curly, log rounds, cypress paneling, and pecky.

We encourage you to stop by and visit the Kimal Sarasota location. A talented employee by the name of Rob has even handcrafted a number of wall hangings and art using the cutoffs. In fact, they will be celebrating their one-year anniversary on Saturday, February 27th with a customer appreciation day. Jeffrey Forbes and I will be there representing Goodwin with a booth and display. We would love to see you!

For more information, visit: http://kimallumber.com/locations/sarasota-east/

 

Goodwin Travels to Historic Homes Workshop

Jeffrey Forbes, our marketing coordinator and resident historian, had the opportunity to attend the Historic Homes workshop last weekend in Tampa. The event – which celebrated its seventh year – was organized and hosted by Steve Quillian of Wood Window Makeovers. Each February, Steve invites a handful of select, highly skilled restoration craftsmen/women to Tampa to conduct this unique three-day conference. Attendees from all over the country attend to learn about the latest techniques and materials used to renovate and restore windows, doors, floors and just about anything else that might need attention in a vintage home.

We’ve included some photos from the workshop (check out the nice heart cypress entry doors):

And, by the way, Steve’s shop, Wood Window Makeovers, is across the street from Schiller’s Architectural Salvage, a wonderful place for finding vintage architectural treasures. Next time you find yourself in Tampa, we encourage you to check both places out!

Congratulations to Tenna Florian of Lake | Flato Architects

Congratulations to Tenna Florian of Lake | Flato Architects for being named one of the “Seven to Watch”.  Goodwin worked closely with her on the Naples Botanical Gardens project. Tenna is not only tops in her field, but she is also dedicated to promoting sustainability in her work and industry as a whole.  Congratulations, Tenna!  We look forward to working with you again in the future. 

Click here for article and video. 

Our Sincerest “Thank You” for Making 2014 Such a Success!

George and I want to extend our sincerest gratitude to each and every building design professional and owner we have had the privilege to work with this year.  As we approach 2015, we cannot help but reflect on the projects that made our year so exceptional. While every job will always hold a special place in our hearts, some of the most memorable commercial and historical renovation projects of 2015 included the Key West Museum re-finish, the old Firestone service station in Gainesville, Queen and Crescent Hotel in New Orleans, Chinsegut Hill in Brooksville, The SeaScout Lodge in Galveston and the Naples Botanical Garden.

We were also honored to be named a 2014 Blue Ribbon Small Business by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  It was thrilling to travel to Washington D.C. and accept this award alongside the finest and most respected small businesses from throughout the country.

Goodwin Company continually researches ways to offer a wide selection of new product lines.  We are excited to announce that today – New Year’s Eve – our state-of-the-art finishing line will be delivered to our manufacturing facility in Florida.  Not only will this allow us to offer you more diverse finishing options, but we will also be able to manufacture economical ‘builder ready’ choices in prefinished 1,000 year-old River-Recovered® Heart Cypress paneling and ceiling.  We expect the first new products to begin rolling out mid-2015.

The new year holds so much promise and we are extremely excited about the additional options we will be offering our valued customers in 2015 and in the years to come.  We credit our 35+ years of success to our loyal and discerning clients who appreciate the indisputable quality and handcrafted beauty of our unique and exceptional antique wood flooring and products.

Thank you and we wish you and your family much health, happiness and blessings in 2015.

With all our heart,
George and Carol

River-Recovered® Heart Cypress Contributes to the Allure of the New Eleanor and Nicholas Chabraja Visitor’s Center at Naples Botanical Garden

Goodwin Company Provides Antique Wood Carefully Recovered from the Apalachicola River

(Naples, FL) – Goodwin Company, pioneers of River-Recovered® wood, announce their contribution to the Eleanor and Nicholas Chabraja Visitor’s Center at Naples Botanical Garden. The company meticulously sawed and precisely milled 20,000 linear feet of River-Recovered® Heart Cypress (virgin growth bald cypress; taxodium distichum) for siding and trim. The majority of the antique logs used for the project were carefully retrieved out of the Apalachicola River. The result is a magnificent, beautifully crafted complex adorned with antique wood that is not only breathtaking, but also tells an intriguing and fascinating story.

“Goodwin worked closely with the entire building design team to ensure the final product exceeded expectations,” explains Carol Goodwin, President of Goodwin Company. “We previously worked on a project with similar specs – the Menil Collection in Houston, Texas – which made us the perfect resource for this magnitude of a project.”

Architect Tenna Florian of the esteemed Lake/Flato Architects in San Antonio, Texas, specified the reclaimed cypress with vertical grain for the Visitor’s Center project. Lake/Flato Architects is a recognized leader in the use of sustainably sourced materials and consciously designed vernacular architecture. They were recognized as the 2004 American Institute of Architects (AIA) firm of the year.

“I take great pleasure in watching visitors arrive at Naples Botanical Garden and marvel at the beauty of the Goodwin’s River-Recovered® Heart Cypress that we used for siding the buildings,” says Brian Holley, Executive Director, Naples Botanical Garden.

“Using this wood is a real win-win-win for us, as through the wood we can tell the story of the forests of Florida – it will last a lifetime or more – and most importantly was salvaged, an important consideration in this LEED Gold project. On top of that the folks at Goodwin are a pleasure to work with.”

Goodwin Company has earned the indisputable reputation for producing antique River-Recovered® and reclaimed wood using the strictest grading standards of any company in the marketplace. Demand for Goodwin’s rich, high quality flooring continues to flourish and has become exceedingly coveted among architects, designers, celebrities, and high-end homeowners.

“Our founder, George Goodwin, still operates the saw to ensure each and every cut meets his high standards and expectations,” says Carol Goodwin. “We are one of the few manufacturers whose founder and owner is actively involved in the production process and personally inspects each and every order before it ships.”

About Goodwin Company

Founded in 1976, Goodwin Company is the building design industry’s trusted partner and preferred resource for fine antique reclaimed and River-Recovered® wood flooring. Esteemed architects, designers and builders specify Goodwin’s products for use in luxury residential homes, historical renovations and commercial projects including corporate office buildings, universities, libraries and high-end retail establishments.  Prominent work includes: This Old House corporate offices, private residences of Bob Villa, Paul McCartney, Frank Lloyd Wright and Ted Turner, Weyland Art Gallery, Brownwood at The Villages, the Charnley-Norwood House, Naples Botanical Garden and the Texas Governor’s Mansion.  For more information, visit www.heartpine.com.

How to Dry 150 Year Old Sunken Logs

One of my all time favorite client inquiries went something like this:

 

“How long does it take to dry out those ancient logs that have been on the bottom of the river for 150 years?”

The answer? Well, it takes a little bit of explaining…

Read more

“Heart Cypress – The Wood Eternal”, the Southern Cypress Manufacturer’s Assn, 1936

x192“One of the most picturesque trees of the American forest is the full-grown cypress. It is slow growing tree, and reaches its best development in tidewater swamplands. Trees well over a thousand years old, towering to heights of over a hundred feet, were common in virgin stands. The mature cypress develops a swelled butt of 8 to 10 feet in diameter and is surrounded by so-called knees, which are really offshoots of the root. It is believed they serve the double purpose of respiratory organs and anchorage.”

American Bald Cypress grows in a belt along the southeastern coastal plain, mainly along rivers and swampy areas. Much of the finest and largest cypress timber grew where the land was submerged most of the year. Horses and mules could not work under such conditions and machine equipment was impractical. An early solution to the problem of making these stands accessible was to build canals through the swamps, so that large pullboats could drag the cypress logs out where they could be made into rafts and towed to the mill.

Preliminary to logging the cypress forests of the 1800’s, the trees to be felled were marked and girdled a year, or several months an advance. Girdling was done by cutting a notch three inches deep around the circumference of the trunk and about three feet above the ground with an ax. Thus, the tree was killed and the wood was allowed to lose part of the moisture, so that when it was cut, the logs would float.

Today, all the millennium giants are felled and gone. Second growth cypress is almost like a different specie. Minus the saturation of cypressein oil that takes several hundred years to develop, second growth cannot stand up to the elements like the virgin growth tree you see here.

x191But there is some good news! Goodwin has stores of this beautiful, durable antique wood in many grades.

See the table being made by Michael Doerr for his brother the owner of Auteur Winery (photo at right).

Sourcing River Logs – My Story (part 1)

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By George Goodwin

I spent a lot of time fishing the Suwannee River during the summer of 1976. During this time I kept noticing deadhead logs (The term, “deadhead log” came about because the small end of the log floats like a head bobbing in the water). Something about them genuinely intrigued me. I had an antique business in Micanopy and a friend, Jerry Moore, was helping me source the antiques. He told me he could also bring up some of the logs. Now I was more than intrigued, I was interested!

Jerry recovered the logs and we took them to an old sawmill nearby. From the moment I first saw the life and light in the ancient wood, I knew people would fall in love with it. So, instead of fishing, we spent our spare time pulling logs and having them sawn into beautiful, durable historic lumber. We soon acquired our own sawmill and began sawing these treasures ourselves.

Every summer, when the water was warmest, Jerry and I made a pilgrimage to a different river area to search for ancient sunken logs. Since many of these logs were “lost” near old sawmills, we found local libraries and archives to be a good resource to research old sawmill locations. Logs were often stored in the water next to the sawmill and the densest and best often sank. Sometimes we got lucky and found a bend in the river where an entire raft had sunk. The rafts were generally 15 or so logs across and a couple of logs for cross members. There might be 20 or so such raft sections connected with chains or ropes.

We learned the best ways to search the river bottom by using a grid. And, we inevitably would find a lot of ‘second growth’ logs that were downed from storms or floods. Second growth aren’t worth pulling up as the wood is neither dense nor durable. Plus it’s commercially available, whereas the ancient logs are rare and valuable.

We searched riverbeds in NC, SC, GA and AL. I had a hand drawn map from 1881 of Florida’s forests, so of course we traveled all around Northern Central Florida and the Florida Panhandle. What we ultimately learned after years of research is that the spring fed Florida rivers held the most and highest quality ancient logs. The best heart cypress comes from the Panhandle and the best heart pine from the Suwannee, Withlacoochee and St John’s rivers. The St. John’s also has a lot of heart cypress waiting to be discovered. More on that later…

Creating Guidelines for the Reclaimed Wood Industry

“Innovators Set the Standards Imitators Attempt to Follow” When we first began manufacturing reclaimed and River-Recovered® wood flooring and paneling there were only a handful of competitors who sold outside of their local area. In fact, we received many long distance calls because we were one of only a few companies who advertised in Fine […]

The Story Behind Florida’s Deadhead Logging Permit

By: George Goodwin

Goodwin Company owns the Federally Registered Trademark for the term ‘River Recovered®’. I registered it after realizing recovering logs was more than just a love…it had become a lifestyle.

I began pulling River-Recovered® logs from the Suwannee River in the mid 1970’s. About a decade later, others started following in my footsteps. Many of the loggers used public landings, which aggravated the fishermen and folks who were also trying to enjoy the rivers. I also noticed they were not, in my opinion, taking a sustainable approach when harvesting the logs. The need for some sort of protocol designed to protect the environment became very apparent.

As a result, I visited politicians and suggested ways the State of Florida could regulate river log recovery in an environmentally sound manner. I requested meetings in Tallahassee (Florida’s Capital) with the Department of Submerged Lands and the Department of Environmental Protection. I also reached out to environmental organizations including the Sierra Club and the Nature Conservancy. We offered to demonstrate the appropriate way to recover ‘deadhead’ logs, which are so named because the small end of the log floats like a head out of the water.

The demonstrations were organized on the Suwannee River near Live Oak, Florida – about 40 miles from Goodwin – and also on the Apalachicola and Choctawhatchee Rivers in the Panhandle. There were a few river loggers in a boat and State officials in another boat. We showed them how to tie off both ends of the log so it did not drag on the river bottom. We explained how there were a lot of logs on the river bottom; however, most were second growth downed by storms and not worth recovering. We demonstrated how to tell the difference by examining the density of the growth rings on the end of the logs. We then helped organize the curriculum for a Master Log Recovery Class that all river loggers in the state of Florida are required to pass.

By the mid-1990’s, we 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 river that you want to log to prove that you are not disturbing any ancient sites or endangered species. Governor Lawton Chiles signed the permit into law in 1998. Governor Chiles loved the environment and was one of our biggest supporters.

Governor Chiles’ son, Ed Chiles, has a River-Recovered® Heart Cypress desk in his office on Anna Maria Island, Florida. Ed recently told us, “Dad was always very passionate about protecting old growth cypress. These giants speak to our history and to the critical balance that must be retained if we are to protect our watersheds and our precious environment. Goodwin Company’s work is a direct result of some of the work Dad did as governor when he and the Florida Cabinet approved the reclamation act allowing the treasures that were buried throughout parts of our state as a result of the logging operations in the late 19th and early 20 century.”

We sure do miss the Governor, but are very grateful for his son, Ed, who is proudly carrying on the environmental mission of his father.

River log recovery is often called ‘brail’ diving by the river loggers. Injun Joe Collins worked at Goodwin in the early 1990’s. He started river logging a few years after the permit was passed and then went on to star in the “Ax Men” television show for a couple of seasons. Today, Joe is Goodwin’s Production Manager and can be found diving in Goodwin’s log pond on the sawmill property whenever we need a special log.

We’ll talk more about river log recovery and how the logs are perfectly preserved after we talk some about the history of the heart pine ecosystem in future articles.

I consider it both an honor and privilege to not only provide you with the highest quality wood available on the market, but also share my experiences with you. Thank you for your confidence, time and trust. You, my valued customers and friends, make this journey all worthwhile!

My best always to you and yours,

George Goodwin

The Naples Botanical Garden Visitor’s Interpretive Center

The Naples Botanical Garden Visitor’s Interpretive Center is quickly coming to completion. You’ll find its’ exterior adorned with thousand year old heart cypress siding milled from logs recovered straight out of the cool waters of the ancient Apalachicola river.

Historic Service Station Transformed by Renovation

Antique Reclaimed Wood Serves as Centerpiece of Firestone Office Building’s New Look

(Circa 1929)

(Gainesville, FL) – Great architecture stands forever, which is why Phoebe Cade Miles (daughter of the late Dr. James Robert Cade, inventor of Gatorade) and her husband Richard – owners of the old Firestone building in Gainesville, Florida – chose to install antique River-Recovered® and Legacy Heartpine flooring during their recent renovation. The building, which also houses University of Florida’s Gator Lab and Starter Space, features 4,000 sq. ft. of office space (two stories), a reception area, inside second floor balcony and a completely renovated and remodeled interior. The building itself was constructed using Campville Brick, another material with a unique story and history.

The hallmark of the newly remodeled space is the River-Recovered® and reclaimed Legacy Vertical Heartpine provided by Goodwin Company, which surrounds a rectangle of brilliantly positioned reclaimed pine from the original building and an inlay of a fan medallion in the center. Boston native Rudy Dittmar performed the installation.

“We could not have created this incredible space without the help of Goodwin Company,” explains Miles. “They provided the antique heartpine flooring we needed to complement the original flooring. We were able to save some of the original flooring and with their help, were able to create an amazing design that worked both old and new into a work of beauty.”

“Restoring and renovating historic spaces is one of our passions,” says Carol Goodwin, President of Goodwin Company. “Words cannot describe the feeling of witnessing your product breathe new life into a building with such deep roots and history. Antique wood is really the only option when you want to preserve the rich history and appeal.”

 

Photo Credit: Front Street Commercial Real Estate Group

About Goodwin Company

Founded in 1976, Goodwin Company is the building design industry’s trusted partner and preferred resource for fine antique reclaimed and River-Recovered® wood flooring. Esteemed architects, designers and builders specify Goodwin’s products for use in luxury residential homes, historical renovations and commercial projects including corporate office buildings, universities, libraries and high-end retail establishments.  Prominent work includes: This Old House corporate offices, private residences of Bob Villa, Paul McCartney, Frank Lloyd Wright and Ted Turner, Weyland Art Gallery, Brownwood at The Villages, the Charnley-Norwood House and the Texas Governor’s Mansion.  For more information, visit www.heartpine.com.

How to Remove a Wax Finish and Recoat with Water-Based Poly

It’s always heartwarming to be able to help a client who purchased a floor from us over 20 years ago. George and Cyndi Watkins wanted to take the wax finish off their River Recovered® Heart Pine floors, then stain and coat them with a water-based polyurethane. The Watkins are discerning clients who know what they […]