Monthly Archives: November 2013
Boston, MA ~ 1646
The North Battery of Boston Harbor was built by Major-General John Leverett in 1646 at the bottom of Copp’s Hill at Merry’s Point. We now know the location as Battery Wharf. This battery was built from timbers and filled with earth. A strategic point of defence, it covered both the mouth of the Charles River and the harbor. It was maintained with men and arms until the end of the Revolution.
Long ago, in the days before we knew better, tobacco was a principal crop in the Connecticut River Valley. The rich alluvial soil was ideal, and farmers planted the big leaf from Bennington to Hartford. Tobacco barns are still a common sight throughout the valley. Longleaf Lumber recently purchased the wood from several barns in Hatfield, Massachusetts. One of the barns was very unusual tobacco processing building. Most tobacco barns were drying sheds consisting of simple frames and barn board, hinged for ventilation.
Danvers, MA ~ 1874
One of our most interesting and recent sources of reclaimed wood is the Danvers State Hospital. Construction began on this incredible red brick Victorian Gothic style structure in 1874. Soonafter, in 1878, patients were admitted. Although it was architecturally designed by Boston’s Nathaniel Bradlee, its functional design was informed and inspired by the theories of then-famous and renowned physician Dr. Thomas Story Kirkbride. Kirkbride’s theories on the treatment of the nation’s insane greatly influenced most of the state hospitals built in the mid to late 1800s, which became known as Kirkbride buildings.
Quincy, MA ~1933
Quincy’s Fore River Bridge was built in 1933 just below the giant Fore River Shipyard. Thousands of ships have passed under this drawbridge over the past eight decades, including the U.S.S. Wasp and the U.S.S. Massachusetts, both built at the shipyard. By 2004, the bridge was beyond operational repair and demolition began. Longleaf Lumber has salvaged the original hemlock pilings which helped support this structure.
Fall River, MA ~1821
Serving many purposes over the years, this building was built in 1821 to house the operations for the Fall River Iron Works, which played an important role in the development of the Fall River textile industry. Located on the shores of Mount Hope Bay near the mouth of the Taunton River, the location proved lucrative, and a steamship pier adjacent to the building provided space for ships to dock and unload.
Bakerville, CT ~ 1859
The Old Mill of Bakerville, CT, built in 1859 by John Scott Baker, was a three-story building that replaced a tannery on the same site. The mill had hydro powered wooden wheels with metal shafts churning water that streamed from a reservoir above it. These wheels turned belts for machines on the first and second floors that took care of sawing, canning and other needs of the agrarian community surrounding it. The top floor was developed into a dance hall.
Lawrence, MA ~ 1880
Built in 1880 as a storehouse for nearby Pemberton Mills, partially from timbers salvaged from earlier buildings, this structure is total Americana. The larger Everett Mills building used for production was constructed in 1909, abutting the Pemberton storehouse, bringing the warehouse under the ownership of the connected Everett Mills.
Laconia, NH ~19th Century
The town of Laconia has been visited by outsiders since 1652. Visitors were initially explorers, then settlers, business entrepreneurs, and industrial-age American and immigrant workers. In our time, the area continues to attract visitors, more often in the form of tourists and motorcycle enthusiasts during the well-known annual ‘Bike Week.’
Holyoke, MA ~ 1879
Nonotuck Paper was one of the original paper mills constructed in Holyoke, Massachusetts – “Paper City.” The company’s buildings were beautifully built brick and timber affairs with exquisite slate roofs, which never once failed in the 121 years before dismantling began. Longleaf Lumber has salvaged the original white pine roof decking from beneath the slate.