The journey for historic barn lumber takes us to an Amish farm in Wisconsin’s Driftless region

Working with reclaimed lumber often takes us to interesting places. This time around, while visiting friends on the West edge of Wisconsin, we ventured down some back roads and stopped in on an Amish family I’ve known for a number of years.  Rudy has a beautiful property with several buildings filled with reclaimed lumber.

The Amish culture is based on traditional values and practices which date back to the 16th century. They’re known for simple living, plain dress, and resistance to modern-day conveniences like electricity. While driving in the Driftless region of Wisconsin you are sure to notice a horse and buggy clipping along the road. It’s a real site to watch the Amish farmers maneuver their massive draft horses before a plow in field. This culture is no stranger to hard work and that’s probably why we find ourselves meeting over a stack of hand-hewn lumber.

Rudy and his family have been reclaiming agricultural structures in this region for over 20 years. These folks see the value in this beautiful old lumber and they aren’t shy of putting in the work to harvest it. They pull every nail and organize the material meticulously.


This is incredible old growth lumber harvested in the mid 18th century and cut using a steam driven circular saw.  it holds a beauty in its tight grain and rough cut.  This wood has had a long journey.  It was used by the homesteaders' of Wisconsin to raise families and work the land.  Now having been handled with care, it is ready for another transformation.  This is exactly what we want to share with our customers at Urban Wood  Goods.

As our journey to Rudy's farm continued he showed us around and we gazed at the deer he was raising.  We thanked him for the hospitality and we continued on our journey through the rolling hills of the driftless region.  Rudy and I made arrangements for a load of that beautiful lumber to make its way to Urban Wood Goods.