We’re a bit wood obsessed (yeah, we know it’s pretty obvious!) and we are often infatuated with the character and history of antique, reclaimed wood. When that wood happens to be massive, 37″ x 42″ x 48′ timbers that were at least 400 years old when the trees were harvested, we’re all staggered. These timbers, originally from the Welland Canal Lock, have become one of our most iconic reclamation and reuse stories. Today they are in their fourth life (or third use) at Point of the Bluff Vineyards in the Finger Lakes Region of NY. But first, a little history:
The falls and rapids of the Niagara River presented a major obstacle for an uninterrupted waterway from the Atlantic Ocean to the American heartland. To circumvent the river, the Welland Canal, with its eight large locks, was built. Initiated by local businessmen, the first canal was built in 1829. The present-day Welland Canal is the fourth to be constructed. The difference of 99.5 m (326.5 feet) between the levels of Lake Ontario and Lake Erie is now overcome with 43.4 km (27 miles) of canal.