This romance started in the mid 1980s in the Okanagan. The original Vernon Fruit Union was being demolished. The timber coming out was spectacular so I bought 2 flatdecks to be delivered to my house. My kids earned $.02 per nail pulled, providing work for many years.
Inspired by the wood’s history (the Vernon Fruit Union was built in the Dirty 1930s as a make-work project) and our recycle-repurpose ethos, we soon started pulling down old barns in the Enderby area, one of which had a single hand-adzed 50′ cedar ridge beam from about 1898.
This proved to be hard work for no pay, but when we resawed the timbers, they were beautiful! Cedar, hemlock, larch but mostly Douglas fir.
We crafted flooring, furniture, wall systems and bearing timbers for our new sewing factory and our expanding fleet of Valhalla Pure stores. In 1989 we built the New Denver store, 60% was salvage wood and timbers.
As we expanded Valhalla Pure on Vancouver Island, we bought an old wooden Hiways bridge from up island. This fed raw material into our store system for years! Pristine Douglas fir hidden just beneath the weathered grey exterior.
The story gets better. Timbers, furniture and character wood from our old Prince Rupert and original Kelowna stores were reused AGAIN in our Vancouver, Nelson, Millstream and New Denver store upgrades.
Here’s a short clip (summer 2014) of Bryn resawing some 10×10 hemlock timbers from the original island Hiways bridge salvaged in the mid 1990s. They were used first in our Vancouver store on Broadway, then moved to New Denver where they will be reused yet again in Kelley’s ‘new’ New Denver VPO store build this winter.
Old wood just keeps on giving, and looks better and better with time.
New Denver, BC