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The Globe and Mail

Acton salvage yard is a emporium of deconstructed homes

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Stacked barn board, Historic Lumber, Acton, Ont. 'Anybody could buy some barn board, set up a store and say ‘This is authentic barn board,’ Allan Bousfield says. ‘But the beauty of most of what we have here is that I’ve been doing this for so long I know the places most of it came from. So the story is accurate to the point of saying ‘It was a farm, it was dated 1855, we found the date in the house, this was the barn.’

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Kitchen cabinets destined for a Muskoka cottage. John Bousfield’s sculptural creations are showcased on the main floor of the family home: “live edge” tables, big wardrobes dressed in milk paint, dining tables and hewn-beam mantles.

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Kitchen island with hammered copper sink.

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Bowtie joinery.

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A live edge table in the shop’s showroom.

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Drawers full of heritage treasure.

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Salvaged door from the Wasaga Beach area. 'We were recycling long before it even became something that was even thought about,’ says Mr. Bousfield. 'At that time you were thought of as ‘you can’t afford real stuff?’ it was pretty bad, actually.’

Dave LeBlanc

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Salvaged fireplace surround.

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Sign at entry.

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Stacks of houses. Scanning piles of inventory outside, Mr. Bousfield lists: “These are stone remnants from windowsills, doorsills, and lintels,” he says, then points to the next pile over. “Brick houses, so, the deep red brick is from 1900; there’s brick on the top, it’s 1897—handmade brick—the buff brick is from the Woodstock area and it’s 1880; the brick on the bottom, which has an orange tinge to it, that’s around 1860s or 1850s.”

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Table in progress. Alan Bousfield say his customers “come in with ideas all the time” about what to do with his heritage wood.

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A workshop at Historic Lumber.

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