November 3rd, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
Leaf peepers traveling through Vermont at this time of year often notice the sad demise of some of our historic barns and buildings. In some cases, over 200 years of wind, rain and snow have left these antique treasures in desperate need of rebirth. Fortunately, Vermont has many talented craftsmen who’ve taken on the mission of reclaiming the old boards, hand-hewn beams and timbers from these vintage barns. They recapture, de-nail and mill them into beautiful farmhouse tables. “Old wood – new life!” as reclaimed barnwood craftsman, Raphael Groton says.
Some of the common types of wood reclaimed are: oak, pine, elm, cherry, chestnut, walnut, hickory, maple, and quartersawn oak. Much of this vintage barn wood comes from original stands of America’s old growth forests and, as a result it has incredible architectural quality that could only be crafted by nature. Boards are extra wide with lush color and rich patinas. The beauty, density and stability of the wood, not to mention the unique character it attains after decades or even centuries of service in an old barn, factory or warehouse is captivating.
Can you name any other natural, renewable resource that’s as beautiful, strong and durable today as it was 200 years ago? Make a visit to Stonehurst, Vermont’s newest fine furniture and art gallery to see how Vermont farm tables can lend a touch of authenticity to both traditional and modern home decor.