Own A Piece Of History: Old Growth Douglas Fir Mantels And Beams


A truly unique item has just arrived on our yard. Our most recent shipment of antique barnwood and reclaimed timbers contained about a dozen 4″ x 13″ old growth Douglas Fir timbers that were salvaged from the pontoons of the Portland, Oregon Shipyard Dry Dock #2. These timbers are perfect for rustic mantels and shelves, or in any exposed beam construction application. These 4″ x 13″ timbers are very worn and weathered, looking almost sandblasted. They also contain a significant number of spike holes that go through the timbers, usually in patterns of three.

Construction of the Portland Dry Dock #2 was commissioned by the City of Portland in 1920. The dry dock was located at Swan Island which was one of the many Kaiser Shipyards facilities on the West Coast and it would eventually become one of the most efficient shipyards in the country. Dozens of ships were built here for the U.S. Maritime Commission including Liberty Ships and T2 Tankers that supplied the transport needs of the U.S. Armed Services in Asia and Europe during WWII. Over time, larger steel dry docks overtook the capacities of the old wooden Dry Dock #2 and it’s useful life as a dry dock came to an end.

This was not the end of the story though. The old growth Douglas Fir timbers that the dry dock was constructed from have been painstakingly salvaged and are ready to start a new life in any application where rustic timbers are called for. These timbers range in size from the 4″ x 13″ timbers that we now have in stock to 10″ x 12″ thru 10″ x 16″ timbers in length up to 40′. These larger timbers are available from us on a special order basis. Add a piece of American shipbuilding history to your home or next project with these reclaimed Portland Dry Dock #2 timbers while they are still available.

Some of the construction photos below: