Teddy Roosevelt’s Lumber Legacy
An underwater jungle the size of Montreal is being harvested from a lake created in 1913 to supply the Panama Canal. When the Chagres River was dammed in 1913 by Theodore Roosevelt it created what was then the largest man-made lake in the world. At the time, tropical lumber seemed limitless and no one thought twice about drowning the old-growth trees. A century later, a Canadian company, Coast Eco Timber, is using hydraulic chain saws that run purely on vegetable oil to reclaim the perfectly preserved lumber. Species include Cedro Espino (South American cedar), Espave (white mahogany). Zapatero (Maracaibo boxwood) and Lapacho (ipe). The first container of rescued lumber arrived in North America in June and the boards are now available for sale. Hobbyist woodworker quantities are available from Bow River Speciality Woods priced at $11-13/bf. Not cheap, but definitely a talking point for your next project.
|More on Reclaimed Lumber
• Working with Reclaimed Lumber
• Furniture from Reclaimed Lumber
• Ancient Lumber from New Zealand and South Carolina
A salvaged log from Panama
The excavation of the Panama Canal, as seen here in October of 1913, resulted in the inundation of an extraordinary amount of valuable hardwood.