“Innovators Set the Standards Imitators Attempt to Follow”
When we first began manufacturing reclaimed and River-Recovered® wood flooring and paneling there were only a handful of competitors who sold outside of their local area. In fact, we received many long distance calls because we were one of only a few companies who advertised in Fine Homebuilding at the time. When someone called Goodwin from Boston, California or places far from Florida, we often became friends. We talked a lot and truly got to know one another in the process of understanding their expectations and needs in a reclaimed wood product.
We were very excited to be part of the Firestone building restoration in Gainesville, Florida. Special thanks to Phoebe Cade Miles for your kind support and confidence in our product. We were honored to be part of this exciting project!
Also, thank you Carla Vianna for your article in the Gainesville Sun:
By: George Goodwin
Goodwin Company owns the Federally Registered Trademark for the term ‘River Recovered®’. I registered it after realizing recovering logs was more than just a love…it had become a lifestyle.
I began pulling River-Recovered® logs from the Suwannee River in the mid 1970’s. About a decade later, others started following in my footsteps. Many of the loggers used public landings, which aggravated the fishermen and folks who were also trying to enjoy the rivers. I also noticed they were not, in my opinion, taking a sustainable approach when harvesting the logs. The need for some sort of protocol designed to protect the environment became very apparent.
As a result, I visited politicians and suggested ways the State of Florida could regulate river log recovery in an environmentally sound manner. I requested meetings in Tallahassee (Florida’s Capital) with the Department of Submerged Lands and the Department of Environmental Protection. I also reached out to environmental organizations including the Sierra Club and the Nature Conservancy. We offered to demonstrate the appropriate way to recover ‘deadhead’ logs, which are so named because the small end of the log floats like a head out of the water.
The demonstrations were organized on the Suwannee River near Live Oak, Florida – about 40 miles from Goodwin – and also on the Apalachicola and Choctawhatchee Rivers in the Panhandle. There were a few river loggers in a boat and State officials in another boat. We showed them how to tie off both ends of the log so it did not drag on the river bottom. We explained how there were a lot of logs on the river bottom; however, most were second growth downed by storms and not worth recovering. We demonstrated how to tell the difference by examining the density of the growth rings on the end of the logs. We then helped organize the curriculum for a Master Log Recovery Class that all river loggers in the state of Florida are required to pass.
By the mid-1990’s, we succeeded in helping create an environmental permit program proposal to present to the Florida Legislature. Part of the permit required providing an archeological survey of the area of river that you want to log to prove that you are not disturbing any ancient sites or endangered species. Governor Lawton Chiles signed the permit into law in 1998. Governor Chiles loved the environment and was one of our biggest supporters.
Governor Chiles’ son, Ed Chiles, has a River-Recovered® Heart Cypress desk in his office on Anna Maria Island, Florida. Ed recently told us, “Dad was always very passionate about protecting old growth cypress. These giants speak to our history and to the critical balance that must be retained if we are to protect our watersheds and our precious environment. Goodwin Company’s work is a direct result of some of the work Dad did as governor when he and the Florida Cabinet approved the reclamation act allowing the treasures that were buried throughout parts of our state as a result of the logging operations in the late 19th and early 20 century.”
We sure do miss the Governor, but are very grateful for his son, Ed, who is proudly carrying on the environmental mission of his father.
River log recovery is often called ‘brail’ diving by the river loggers. Injun Joe Collins worked at Goodwin in the early 1990’s. He started river logging a few years after the permit was passed and then went on to star in the “Ax Men” television show for a couple of seasons. Today, Joe is Goodwin’s Production Manager and can be found diving in Goodwin’s log pond on the sawmill property whenever we need a special log.
We’ll talk more about river log recovery and how the logs are perfectly preserved after we talk some about the history of the heart pine ecosystem in future articles.
I consider it both an honor and privilege to not only provide you with the highest quality wood available on the market, but also share my experiences with you. Thank you for your confidence, time and trust. You, my valued customers and friends, make this journey all worthwhile!
My best always to you and yours,
The Naples Botanical Garden Visitor’s Interpretive Center is quickly coming to completion. You’ll find its’ exterior adorned with thousand year old heart cypress siding milled from logs recovered straight out of the cool waters of the ancient Apalachicola river.
Antique Reclaimed Wood Serves as Centerpiece of Firestone Office Building’s New Look
(Gainesville, FL) – Great architecture stands forever, which is why Phoebe Cade Miles (daughter of the late Dr. James Robert Cade, inventor of Gatorade) and her husband Richard – owners of the old Firestone building in Gainesville, Florida – chose to install antique River-Recovered® and Legacy Heartpine flooring during their recent renovation. The building, which also houses University of Florida’s Gator Lab and Starter Space, features 4,000 sq. ft. of office space (two stories), a reception area, inside second floor balcony and a completely renovated and remodeled interior. The building itself was constructed using Campville Brick, another material with a unique story and history.
The hallmark of the newly remodeled space is the River-Recovered® and reclaimed Legacy Vertical Heartpine provided by Goodwin Company, which surrounds a rectangle of brilliantly positioned reclaimed pine from the original building and an inlay of a fan medallion in the center. Boston native Rudy Dittmar performed the installation.
“We could not have created this incredible space without the help of Goodwin Company,” explains Miles. “They provided the antique heartpine flooring we needed to complement the original flooring. We were able to save some of the original flooring and with their help, were able to create an amazing design that worked both old and new into a work of beauty.”
“Restoring and renovating historic spaces is one of our passions,” says Carol Goodwin, President of Goodwin Company. “Words cannot describe the feeling of witnessing your product breathe new life into a building with such deep roots and history. Antique wood is really the only option when you want to preserve the rich history and appeal.”
The Firestone building is currently available for lease through Front Street Commercial Real Estate Group.
About Goodwin Company
Founded in 1976, Goodwin Company is the building design industry’s trusted partner and preferred resource for fine antique reclaimed and River-Recovered® wood flooring. Esteemed architects, designers and builders specify Goodwin’s products for use in luxury residential homes, historical renovations and commercial projects including corporate office buildings, universities, libraries and high-end retail establishments. Prominent work includes: This Old House corporate offices, private residences of Bob Villa, Paul McCartney, Frank Lloyd Wright and Ted Turner, Weyland Art Gallery, Brownwood at The Villages, the Charnley-Norwood House and the Texas Governor’s Mansion. For more information, visit www.heartpine.com.