What to do about the floors? If you have been following this blog, you know that termite damage was prevalent, primarily in the living room. There was also known water damage. The kitchen had ancient linoleum and where there were heart pine floors still intact, they were pretty beat up in most of the downstairs area. The upstairs’ floors, thankfully, were in really good shape and it was a no-brainer we would be able to refinish the upstairs with minimal concerns.
The downstairs was a different story. So for a few weeks we pondered on what to do with that area. As the living room and dining room floors were lifted to replace the subfloors, we realized we may not be able to salvage as much as we had hoped and the quality of the heart pine was not as good as we thought at first. The foyer was in okay condition, but there would still be much repair work required. In fact, it would take us longer to repair the small section of the foyer than completely replace the living and dining rooms. So we discussed our options and landed on trying to get good quality heart pine for the living room, dining room, foyer and kitchen and use what we had to rebuild the den. We would separate the heart pine and put the best of our lot in the foyer and living room. Now we need to confirm pricing and grade with the supplier. As this point I was getting a little nervous about not being able to go to a show room, like I have with everything else, so I asked the contractor where the company was and could I go visit? “Absolutely”, he said, “but it is not like going to a showroom, it’s a manufacturing operation.” That did not bother me one bit, as I spent my first 11 years as a professional working in a manufacturing facility. I actually really enjoy seeing how things are made.
The next phone call I got surprised and delighted the heck out of me! The contractor was in touch with the owner of Charleston Heart Pine to confirm my visit, and when he was given my name, he replied “I am married to English’s cousin! I was at her Daddy’s funeral.” And sure enough, Daddy’s cousin, Ginny, who would visit him when he was at The Franke Assisted Living facility, was married to the owner of Charleston Heart Pine….and I didn’t have a clue. And as a looked at the Drews family tree on the mantle of our house, there was Ginny and Steve listed – their names sitting on our mantle for 6 years. So I am somewhat embarrassed that I did not have a better connection with Daddy’s cousin (her father Walter was my grandfather’s brother). But as we talked and reconnected, we agreed to stay in touch. I can’t wait to bring her to the house and show off the Charleston Heart Pine Floors.
During my visit to in Jameston, SC, about a 45 minute drive from Mt Pleasant, I learned a little about the process and a lot about the heart and hard work that goes into finding and restoring historic heart pine so people like me can use and enjoy a historical product that we often take for granted. I learned that there is very little to no cotton mills or other old structures to reclaim the wood from in South Carolina. In fact, our new “old” floors, are coming from an 1890’s Cotton Mill located in Alabama near the Georgia state line. It was such a treat to visit Steve and learn more about heart pine and more importantly connect with family. Once again, I feel Daddy is at work making all this happen.
Postscript: When the floors were delivered, I was there to ooh and aah over their beauty. At the end of the delivery I asked the fellows that had been hauling it in the house if they worked for the company,?One answered, “Yes, I am the owner’s son.” OMG – you are my cousin!! Meet Tyler, his photo is included.