My father taught me about wide pine at a young age. It was not only the flooring throughout our home, but my parents made a living from it. In fact, they were known as the best suppliers of good wide pine in New England. My father gained his passion from a friend of his, a man named Ernie Lynne who was a very famous trick shooter for the Winchester Gun company. He and my Dad were friends, and Ernie had a tremendous love of the wide pine board. Each year the mill would take some of oldest logs—sawn in the winter when the trees were dormant—and cut some authentic wide pine boards from them that they would save out for Ernie to pick up in the spring.
Ernie would then bring the boards home and dry them and make things from them. Like the settlers did in the early colonial days, he would use the full dimension of the boards in whatever was being made; for example, a door might be made from just two boards, or a cabinet door out of just one piece. As Ernie would share the folk art behind the use of wide pine in colonial American architecture it became embedded in my Dad’s fabric and is where he obtained his love of this wood.
For me, wide pine boards were a bad dream! I would have to sticker them to dry every winter, by hand, and my Dad would make sure that every sticker was perfectly aligned and the piles dead straight. But I learned that by drying the wood properly this makes for a straighter more true board. Growing up working with wide pine and helping my dad and mom with the business, the hard labor as a young boy became a passion of mine and part of who I am. Ultimately, everything I learned and felt about wide boards was what brought me to build my parents’ business, Carlisle Restoration Lumber, into a well respected trade name known today as Carlisle Wide Plank Floors.
Today I have started a new company to continue on with my passion for wood, wide boards, and working with families, builders, architects, whoever would like to talk about wood. Wide pine will once again be a passion of ours. This beautiful wood still holds a special place in architecture for flooring and paneling. Once you have lived with wide board floors it’s very difficult to live with anything else. I say this all time to people and it’s really true! Floors made from wide pine create a warmth, a humble, approachable lifestyle. It’s okay if they get some dents. It adds to their beauty. We hope this is something you’ll want to experience, as we believe it’s truly special.