"French Louie" Memorial Hemlock Collection

Tough lands yield tough people; and it takes a tough individual to not only fell a 500-year-old Hemlock, but to hew it and float it down a raging river during spring thaw. Each wild region has its own heroes, and though his name is no longer well-known outside of historical circles, “French Louie” is absolutely our local mountain-man hero. Epitomizing the spirit of the rugged individualist, French Louie ran away from home at a young age with a traveling circus, which eventually deposited him along the banks of the newly-constructed Erie Canal at the age of 12. For twenty years he worked the canal. But as the years passed, he found himself spending more and more time in the wilderness of the Lower Adirondacks to trap, hunt, and log. Finally he broke ties with civilization and became a full-time woodsman, filling his summer days with strenuous logging, and his winter mornings with trapping beaver for the insatiable New York City fur market.

Louie was known for his absolute self-sufficiency in some of the most remote stretches of land the Adirondacks could offer at the time. As the meagre cities and towns encroached, he would forge deeper into “the bush”, entering town only to deposit his furs, purchase ammunition, and to teach the children, whom he reportedly had a great rapport with, hunting calls and songs. He was also known for his immeasurable skill with a crosscut saw.

We’ve decided the time has come to commemorate this great man with our own line of floating shelves constructed from lumber it is entirely possible he himself cut and floated down the Black RIver, to be sold to local carpenters and used in buildings around Central New York. We’ve chosen lumber reclaimed from the oldest structures we’ve found yet – most dating to the late 1700’s. The wood is as rough and sturdy as anyone could imagine the man himself was, and we’re proud to offer it as a gorgeous addition to your home.

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