Historic Lumber Archive

New Inventory & A Happy New Year!

Monday, January 4th, 2016
Reclaimed Doug Fir Ceiling

Old Patina Wire Brushed Douglas Fir Beams and Ceiling Paneling Reclaimed from Port of Oakland

Dear Friends and Customers,

As we leave 2015 behind us, our company would like to thank you for your continued patronage and support!  As you know, we are a small business, and we pride ourselves on doing exceptional work that helps our local economy and contributes positively to the ecologies of the forests of California and the world.

Events in the past couple of years have led to the arrival of two enormous sources of inventory at the Crossroads Recycled Lumber yard.  The first, and most exciting, is the arrival of timbers and decking from the Port of Oakland, the former Oakland Army Depot.

The quality and historic value of this wood cannot be overstated.  This lumber expands our current inventory by half!  It includes several hundred thousand board feet of Douglas Fir 2X6 and 2X8 Tongue & Groove Decking, plus beams at 4X12X22′, 6X6, 6X12, and 10X22 at 31′ and 32′ in length. Negotiations for procuring this wood took several years and a heck of a lot of work from our owner, Marc, who monitored parts of this project since 2007 and worked with the demolition crew during part of the tear down.  Watch StopWaste.org’s video about the beginning of the project! (more…)

Historic Church Lumber on its way to CRL!

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

This morning a load of historic lumber out of beautiful Saint Joseph’s Church in San Francisco is on a truck, making it’s way to us!   The current church building was erected in 1906.  The wood is old and sturdy rough-cut, full-dimension 2X material, and as far as we can tell is 108 years old.   The structure has been out of use since the 1989 earthquake.  Luckily the contractors are just gutting the building to restore and reinforce it, and this beautiful edifice will remain standing in San Francisco.  The information below is copied directly from NoeHill in San Francisco – Historic Sites and Points of Interest in San Francisco, as is the exterior photo. The interior photo is from the contractors.

St. Joseph's Church    St. Joseph Church Interior

San Francisco Landmark #120
Saint Joseph’s Church, Parish Hall and Rectory
1401 Howard Street At 10th Street
Built 1913

Saint Joseph’s Church, Parish Hall and Rectory have been vacant since they were damaged by the Loma Prieta Earthquake on 17 October 1989, but things are looking up for the neighborhood. The new headquarters of Twitter, Inc. is located just two blocks from Saint Joseph’s Church.

Saint Joseph’s Church is also National Register Listing #82002250.

The following is adapted from San Francisco Planning Commission Resolution No. 8591 dated 22 July 1980.

St. Joseph’s church and parish were founded in 1861 by Rev. Hugh Gallagher, under the direction of California’s first Archbishop, Joseph Alemany. The congregation outgrew the first frame structure, which was followed in 1865 by a structure which was destroyed in the 1906 fire. The cornerstone of the present Neo-Romanesque church, designed by architect John Foley, was laid in April 1913.The church founded two parochial schools in 1867 – one for boys and one for girls – and has had educational facilities at the site since that time. The present parish hall, built in 1906, once served as both the church and school. The Young Men’s Institute, a fraternal organization, was founded here in 1883, and was expanded into chapters nationally.

St. Joseph’s Church and complex has had important meaning to many ethnic groups in the city, not just to its South of Market parishioners. The complex reflects the many social and economic changes in the city, and is an example of a church coping with these conditions, to remain a vital force in the city.

From its originally predominantly Irish parishioners, the Church now [1980] serves a primarily Filipino parish, the largest in the United States. In April, 1979, the Image of the Santo Niño de Cebu, the Philippines’ patron saint, was enthroned in the church.

Brewery Reclaims Ocean Heritage in Bar Top

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014
Ship-Wreck timbers, mid-installation

Ship-Wreck Timber Bar, mid-installation at the Diamond Knot Brewpub in Mountlake Terrace, photo by Sherry

Basically brined in salt water, these beams are heavy and still carry some of the ocean’s bottom on their skins. Shells, sand, spots where decayed chain rotted away, colors of iron and bits of rocks defiantly cling to their sides. This, my friends, spells love. Running my hands along the rough surface, I could feel the ocean’s hold.

-Sherry, Diamond Knot Craft Brewing, a Pacific Northwest Timbers customer


We love when our customers really GET IT, and are as excited about our lumber as we are!  Recently Sherry, the “Chief Storyteller” and “All-Around Octopus” at Diamond Knot Craft Brewing, made a visit to our sister company, Pacific Northwest Timbers in Port Townsend, WA, looking for a new bar top with an old soul.  Sherry walked away with one of our 12X24 “Big Sticks” out of Port of Stockton for the Diamond Knot’s Mukilteo, WA Alehouse, and came back for one of our Ship Timbers for the bar in their Brew Pub in Mountlake Terrace, WA.

Diamond Knot is named for a ship that wrecked off the coast of Washington in 1947, much like the Canadian Exporter that took our Ship Timbers down to the ocean floor in 1921.  You can read about Sherry’s experience finding her bar tops and falling in love with the Ship Timbers here, in the Diamond Knot Blog.

Our remaining ship timbers, salvaged from the wreck of the Canadian Exporter, are in the following dimensions:

18X18X20′ (PNT) 20X20X35’4″ (PNT) 18X18X24′ (CRL)
18X18X20’3″ (PNT) 20X20X35’9″ (PNT) 20X20X24′ (CRL)
18X18X20’8″ (PNT) 20X20X40′ (PNT) 20X20X26′ (CRL)
18X18X21’3″ (PNT) 20X20X22’7″ (PNT) 22X22X26′ (CRL)
18X18X22’4″ (PNT) 22X22X22′ (PNT)
18X18X23’5″ (PNT) 24X24X38’11” (PNT)
18X18X24’8″ (PNT)
18X18X30″ (PNT)  
18X18X41′ (PNT)

Timbers with strikethru have been sold since the writing of this article.

Big Timbers from Forks, Washington

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

At Crossroads we often document the historical origin of our material. It can be a challenging task to get an accurate history about structures and businesses that have been dismantled. We recently had an order for one of our large timbers from furniture maker William Stranger.  William was thrilled with the beauty of the wood and wanted to know its story.

Russ Gammon, Marc Mandel, & John Hunt

Russ Gammon (IGL) Marc Mandel (CRL) and John Hunt at a McMillan Bloedell Sawmill teardown in Port Alberni, BC 1996

In this case, Marc Mandel, owner of Crossroads, was the perfect data source. When asked about the history of the lumber he responded from memory,

“That 12x18x24’ Fir timber has an interesting story.  It originally came from Forks, Washington on the Olympic Peninsula.  We called the wood the “Forks Clear”.  In 1995, a friend in the reclaimed wood business, John Hunt (ReTech Wood Products) was hiking in the woods and spotted some old mossy logs that loggers had left long ago. (more…)

Historic Pen Collaboration

Friday, January 18th, 2013

CRL recently supplied The Historic Pen Company with a sample pack of some of our most prestigious and legendary materials including Stanford Gym, San Quentin Prison Hospital, Warner Brothers Studio, The  San Francisco Presidio, Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Factory, and exotic Borneo Ironwood from monsoon blow-down.

Historic Pen

Historic Pens from legendary sources

Pens are limited editions made from wood or timbers that were part of a historic site that witnessed the history that we only read about. Accompanying each pen is a Certificate of Authentication detailing the provenance. The pens are made with artisan precision that represent the historic site.

We are proud to be part of a process that captures a period of time to create a timeless work of art.



Heidelberg Brewery Leaves Lumber Legacy

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013


Douglas Fir 14X20, 16X20, 12 to 15 foot lengths from Heidelberg Brewery in Tacoma, WA

Douglas Fir 14X20, 16X20, 12 to 15 foot lengths
from Heidelberg Brewery in Tacoma, WA

A stroll through the Crossroads Recycled Lumber yard with a well-informed salesperson is a lesson in California state history.  From early California adobe homes, to rural sawmills, to glamorous Hollywood movie studios, our lumber represents the people of the Golden State and the stories of their lives.  With Pacific Northwest Timbers in its 3rd year, we are thrilled to be stacking up a warehouse of Washington State History, as well!

In 2011 Pacific Northwest Timbers received a shipment of high-quality large-dimension Douglas Fir timbers from the Columbia-Heidelberg Brewery in Tacoma.  The timbers include 10×16, 14×20 and 16×20 posts and beams that are currently for sale at the PNT yard in Port Townsend.  Like the rest of our inventory, these sticks have a remarkable story to tell.


Coming Full Circle: Lumber Reclaimed from California’s Lumber Mills

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012
North Fork Mill 1940s

North Fork Mill, 1940s. The front building is gone,
but the roof seen in the back left now houses CRL!

Here at the Crossroads Recycled Lumber yard we’ve salvaged millions of board feet of reclaimed lumber and timbers over the years.  Every plank and beam was once part of a majestic tree, felled with a chainsaw, or by hand with a crosscut saw depending on the era, and shaped by millhands, in forests and mills across North America.

The Crossroads Recycled Lumber yard sits on the site of the old North Fork Mill, so we are reminded every day of the legacy that our wood leads.  Over the years as the timber industry has declined, we have collected beams and trusses from sawmills deconstructed up and down the West Coast.

Logging remains one of the top two most dangerous jobs in America, and our lumber from these mills pays homage to the hard work of loggers, mill hands, and millwrights and the role they played in American History.  It is a special honor for us to be able to help preserve the timbers from these mills through reuse.


Crossroads Featured in “The Deconstruction of Building 802” Video

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Learn about the salvage process from start to finish! This is an excellent, informative mini-documentary about the deconstruction process, following the disassembly of the Port of Oakland, CA.  Thank you StopWaste.org, for all of the work you do to Stop Waste!

Crossroads Recycled Lumber is featured from 3:25-5:33.

“Our clients are pretty conscientious about where their material comes from.  They like the idea of recycled stuff.  We as carpenters like to use [reclaimed wood] because you can’t find this tight grain, old growth stuff anymore.  It’s already dry, and it’s a lot more fun to work with, a lot more stable.”

-Pete Crandall, Crossroads Recycled Lumber customer

Many more resources about this project are available on the StopWaste.org website at http://www.stopwaste.org/home/index.asp?page=775

Click here to see photos of the split decking from Building 802 on display in Whole Foods, Blossom Hill in San Jose.

Reclaimed Redwood

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

The California Redwoods: Earth’s Tallest Trees

Quality Wood
Named for its uniquely rich hue, Reclaimed Redwood is sought after for internal paneling projects to show off the deep varying shades of earthy red. Striking as it is inside, Redwood is also valued for external siding not only for it’s appearance, but also because it is rot-resistant.

Most of our Redwood stock was cut from old growth Redwood trees; you can see it in the tightness of the wood’s grain. Logging of old growth Redwoods has been tremendously reduced, and this recycled material simply cannot be matched by new wood.

Our Inventory
Crossroads’ salvage Redwood stock is very diverse, from tank wood that is clear and makes perfect lumber (with the exception of some occasional iron oxide staining), to our Redwood “Pitwood” that is very rough. We also have Redwood timbers salvaged from the demolition of Pacific Lumber Company’s Mill B in Scotia, California that are a bit rough but can be sawn into very nice stock with some big bolt holes with black stain.


Historic Large-Dimension Ocean Salvage Timbers

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012
The Canadian Exporter Breaks in Half 1921 Copyright Columbia River Maritime Museum

The Canadian Exporter Breaks in Half 1921 Copyright Columbia River Maritime Museum


Some of the most intriguing lumber we have in stock was never used in construction, and yet still considered salvage timbers.  These beams are believed to have been loaded onto a Canadian ship in 1921 that wrecked off the Pacific Coast.

In early 2010 as a beach near the wreck eroded, the shipwreck became exposed and the cargo began washing ashore. The Canadian Exporter was carrying 3 million board feet of lumber plus 200 tons of other cargo, heading from Vancouver, British Columbia to Portland, Oregon and then on to Asia, according to a story in the Seattle Times.   Some of the timbers that Crossroads and our sister company, Pacific Northwest Timbers now have in inventory were found by locals and hauled ashore with a tow truck, a few others were discovered just beneath the waters’ surface by a local oyster fisherman.