Check out this Old Oak Tree – The Birthing Tree

This huge white oak tree is located in McMinnville, TN and is known as the Birthing Tree.  Most of the branches are so large that they lay on the ground.

It is 81 feet tall and the crown of the tree spreads over 130 feet!
How tall are you compared to this big tree? 

The Birthing Tree was a local landmark for travelers and settlers passing through the area on the Old Kentucky Trail.  It was a well-known gathering place for them and some waited for long periods of time for others to join, to wait out bad weather or to wait on supplies.  Many of the local families recall stories of grandparents who knew of someone born at the tree due to some extended delays.

This tree is standing across the street from the McMinnville River Park Hospital (1559 Sparta Highway – Hwy. 70)  Stop by and say hello to this old beauty if you’re ever in the area!

Oak – The Frame of Civilization


Oak – The Frame of Civilization

By William Bryant Logan

W.W. Norton & Co. – 2005

“William B. Logan, a professional arborist and an award-winning nature writer, has put his love for oak to paper, and here relates the delightful, intimate history of the relationship between humans and oak trees since time immemorial.  With reverence, humor, and compassion, Logan reintroduces the oak tree so that we might see its vibrant presence throughout our history and our modern world.”  We find this book a delightful read that is just as informative as it is edifying.  Filled with photos and drawings, we recommend this book for all interested in woodworking and nature.

Our Wood Shavings find a Home


As you can imagine, our shop floor is often covered with great smelling oak wood chips or saw dust depending on which tools are being used – sometimes over a foot of shavings will pile up under the saw horses.  Out in the timber yard, we have a ‘nook’ where we put the shavings and a sign that says “Free Sawdust”.  Lots of people come by with their large plastic garbage cans and fill them up to take home to their gardens or animal pens.  The sawdust makes great garden paths and mulch with no harm to the plants.  We’ve been doing it for years!

Creating a Homestead for Generations to Come

Submitted by: Cyndy Gardner

According to the Merriam Webster dictionary- Homestead- (noun)

Snow Scene

a: the home and adjoining land occupied by a family

b: an ancestral home

The first known use of the word HOMESTEAD was before the 12th century.

Home·stead·er noun

Homestead-transitive verb: to acquire or occupy as a homestead - intransitive verb: to acquire or settle on land under a homestead law

As you can see, the word homestead has been around several hundred years and means many things important to our culture.  Our country was formed by people living in and caring for their homesteads – inherited by some and started by others.  But the homestead was the center of their existence – the hub of daily life – the heart of the family.  Some of the inhabitants built their own furniture, wove their rugs and bedding, and made ‘pretties’ for the children to play with.  Others brought these household items with them from all over the world when they came to settle on the frontier.  But all of them put great value on their homestead.

Today there are among us those who still envision living on and working a true homestead.  The outbuildings surrounding the main house would serve their useful purposes to provide income for the family living on the land.  John Seymour in his book, The Forgotten Crafts does an excellent job of describing these practices.  Some of us just want the ‘look’ of the old homestead in order to create the image of a working small farm, but use the outbuildings in a different manner such as a woodworking shop or an artist studio.  We may have a few animals to care for, but we work outside the home for the bulk of our income.

Most of us can still create our own personal homestead just by owning a piece of land on which we build our ‘dream’ house where we find sustenance of a different kind.  Within this wonderful home, we can fill it with what we love; what we find interesting; what brings peace at the end of the day – a sanctuary where we bring our friends and family to celebrate joyous events or to discuss the issues of the day.  We naturally want it to be a beautiful dwelling with attention to detail.  Not such a big house, but large enough to hold us comfortably within.  This home should inspire you to grow – to plan adventures – to learn more about yourself and the world around you – but also a place that welcomes you home with the ‘warmth of the hearth’ just like our ancestors experienced in their quaint old ‘homesteads’.   Our solid oak timber frames can furnish you with this quiet strength in which to create your sanctuary.  Traditionally joined with wooden pegs and handcrafted by skilled joiners, we still value what makes a home handsome that will last several generations.