Dating historic timber

This special history is preserved in exceptional color, texture and quality creating one of-a-kind items ranging from cabinetry, flooring, and heirlooms to bar tops, stringed instruments and rustic mantle pieces.

BEING A PART OF THE HISTORY The Somers sawmill burned down in 1957 and was never re-built.

Through the Flathead Lake Historic Timber project we have seen a revival of the remarkable historic ties always shared between many local businesses, schools, museums, historical societies and history buffs across Montana.

Greatly simplified, the process samples living and dead trees in a given area.

The tree-ring patterns are matched, and laid down in series, building a continuous timeline of known dates.

Techniques continued to develop; driven to some extent by tools improving with the development of metallic alloys from bronze, to iron, to steel.

Bronze is not a material from which to make a saw, but steel is, so axes were replaced by saws as the primary means of shaping timber.By the Middle Ages timber framing was reaching its peak with the construction of such impressive buildings as the hammer-beam roof of Westminster hall (illustrated here) with its impressive clear span of 18m (60ft).Timber framing went into decline as the Georgian era moved to the Victorian era due to a number of factors.Our salvage project is an environmentally sensitive move that focuses on a carbon-neutral, renewable resource.Additionally, the recovery of these timeless timbers has improved Flathead Lake’s ecological habitat while maintaining its pristine water quality.In the history of timber framing it is not possible to date when timber was first used by humans in construction, but being such a readily usable material in its raw state it is hard to imagine a time when it didn’t play a part in sheltering our forefathers.