For craftsmen, reclaimed wood is a tangible reminder of history – –

Interesting story on

Preserved old growth timber for ship building found in a salt pond. Its like winning the lottery of wood – if you are into that kind of thing.

Brett Stevens fashions a bench using 19th-century wood that was reclaimed from a salt-water pond at the Charlestown Navy Yard in 2010.

He crafts benches, tables, picture frames, candle holders, and lamp bases from sections of live oak and white oak that were retrieved from the Charlestown Navy Yard in 2010. The enormous timbers were discovered while crews were prepping the site for the ongoing Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital construction project.

As Stevens explained, the wood had been stored in a salt-water pond to preserve it for the eventual reconstruction of either the USS Constitution (a frigate launched in 1797, and widely known as Old Ironsides) or the USS Constellation (launched in 1854). But in the mid-1880s, the shipyard began making all-metal boats, and then, in 1914, on the brink of World War I, the timber pond was covered to make room for diesel storage tanks.

Then the wood was all but forgotten — until three years ago. Upon the trove’s rediscovery, Mystic Seaport, a living history museum in Connecticut, took some of the timbers to restore the whaler Charles W. Morgan, while Stevens’ business partner Peter Sel­lew bought the rest — 13 tractor-trailer loads, now stored at New England Hardwood Supply in Littleton.

via For craftsmen, reclaimed wood is a tangible reminder of history – –