Maine Heritage Timber Turns Lost Wood into Prized Flooring

By Rich Christianson | Posted: 06/18/2013 12:21PM


Maine Heritage Timber of Millinocket, ME, is creating 21st wood flooring using materials logged a century or more ago.

The company’s specialty is reclaimed wood, which it calls the “new gold standard for wood flooring that … sets the bar at the high end of the market.” Most of the reclaimed woods are sunken virgin growth timber lost to Maine’s Penobscot River during the logging gold rush. These have rested in a preserved state in the depths of the river’s frigid waters.

Maine Heritage Timber was cofounded two years ago by Tom Shafer and Steve Sanders. Earlier this April, the company displayed three distinct collections of reclaimed wood flooring at the NWFA Wood Flooring Expo in Dallas, including:

1899 Collection – Birch, Oak and Maple
Maine Heritage Timber says the last of the yellow birch and red oak hardwoods that once flourished along the banks of the Penobscot River were cut down in 1899. The trees were used in the settlement of colonial America, making the wide plank flooring made from the reclaimed logs “a museum to walk on.”

Penobscot Collection – Eastern White Pine
Popular eastern white pine was highly valued by colonists for its massive size and “easily tooled texture.” Maine Heritage Timber is engineering reclaimed eastern white pine into wide planks that vary in lengths from 3 feet to 10 feet and in widths of 4, 6 and 8 inches.

Great Northern Collection – Spruce and Fir
These old growth trees were cut in 1916 and have been submerged in northern Maine lakes and rivers ever since. Flooring from these reclaimed spruce and fir woods are available in four widths and an average length of 40 inches.

In addition to flooring, Maine Heritage Timber manufactures custom millwork, furniture and wainscoting materials from reclaimed old-growth woods.


About the Author

Rich Christianson

Rich Christianson is Associate Publisher and Editor at Large of Woodworking Network. During his 25+ years covering the wood products industry, Rich has toured hundreds of manufacturing plants throughout North America, Europe and Asia. His reporting has covered everything from the state of the industry and impact of wood imports to technology and environmental issues. In his current capacity he is responsible for editing the daily Woodworking Network Update newsletter and coordinating events including the annual Cabinets & Closets Conference & Expo and Canada’s biennial Woodworking Machinery & Supply Expo. He can be contacted at or follow him on Google+.

Read more of Rich Christianson's blogs.

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Ed Strahota    
Mendota, IL  |  June, 21, 2013 at 11:27 AM

I love the resourcefulness of this type of manufacturing. There is a company in northern WI doing something similar with logs pulled out of Lake Superior! Cool stuff!


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