by Maggie Galehouse September 6, 2007 for the Chronicle
So, here’s something that is NOT new, although it’s new to me.
Earlier this week I met Greg Schenck, president of Schenck & Company, a local outfit that makes exquisite, custom wood flooring. He told me about river-reclaimed wood, and the information bears sharing because it’s so green.
In the 1800s, when forestry was big in the U.S. and elsewhere, many logs made their way to sawmills via rivers. No surprise: some of them sunk en route. What is surprising is that these sinker logs, protected for more than a century by cold water and a lack of light and oxygen, are in excellent condition and in increasingly high demand as reclaimed wood.
They have no nail holes, no paint, nothing to mar the character of the wood. It’s virgin wood, some of it close to 150 years old.
I’m sure river-reclaimed wood is expensive and I’m sure I’ll never have any at my house, but I love the fact that rivers have quietly cocooned these trees for centuries. And I hope that those lucky enough to get their hands on this wood will treat it with the respect it deserves.