Where Does Our Reclaimed Wood Come From?
A piece of furniture milled from reclaimed lumber is not just any other piece of furniture. When you purchase reclaimed wood farmhouse furniture from Gershwin & Gertie, you’re not simply buying recycled furniture, you’re buying a story.
Reclaimed wood is any wood used for building or furniture that’s already served a purpose in a previous life. That means it comes from a wide variety of places, each with its own unique history.
Many of the reclaimed timbers Gershwin & Gertie uses are hand-hewn beams from century-old barns that have fallen into disrepair. Rather than send the aged wood to a landfill, our deconstruction specialists take the building apart piece by piece, saving timbers that are still useful for another life in another building.
Some pieces are then re-milled into new boards, turning the historic lumber into Gershwin & Gertie’s reclaimed wood farmhouse furniture.
Wood sometimes comes from old commercial or municipal structures.
Tank stock is another unique source of recycled lumber. Antique water tanks or the storage tanks from old wineries and breweries, even pickle plants, can be a source for reclaimed wood. Because the vessels were required to be water-tight, these storage tanks yield very durable vertical-grained wood, with a unique patina from its previous life.
Some reclaimed wood doesn’t come from buildings at all. Railroad ties and old wooden fences don’t yield recycled timbers of the same size as barns and factories do, but wood from these sources has been used to make doors, windows, mantelpieces, furniture, and other pieces where an entire floor worth of wood isn’t needed.
Other sources have never had a prior consumer use, but the wood from them is still called “salvaged” or “reclaimed” because it originates from trees that are dead and would otherwise not be usable. Some of Gershwin & Gertie’s reclaimed wood farmhouse furniture is milled from trees that have died naturally, while still standing, due to fire kill or damage. Because these timbers begin the drying process while still standing in the forest, Naturally Dry Timbers are very stable, with less twisting and warping than green timber.
Some salvaged wood is pulled out of rivers; divers search America's waterways for trees that have fallen and been washed downstream. The logs are then pulled out and milled into lumber for a variety of uses.
The multitude of sources for our reclaimed wood means that no two lots of reclaimed lumber—and probably no two individual boards—will be exactly alike. Each timber bears marks from its previous life, whether it’s slivers of fading barn paint or staining from gallons of wine. These marks don’t just add beauty; they add character.
Conventional wood furniture might be lovely, but living with wood that came from a 150-year-old brewery just feels cooler. That—along with unique aesthetics and un-matched eco-friendliness—is what you get when you choose reclaimed wood farmhouse furniture from Gershwin & Gertie. It’s not just wood. It’s a wooden slice of history.