What's New!

What We Have:

Vintage Lumber
  Siding
  Flooring
  Beams
  Re-sawn Lumber

Architectural Elements
  Doors
  Windows
  Mantels
  Cupboards
  Signs
  Miscellaneous

Antique Hardware

Building Materials
  Cut Stone
  Slate
  Old Glass

Complete Structures
  Barns
  Cabins
  Out Buildings
  Vintage Homes

What We Do:

Restoration Services
  Salvage & Reclamation
  Dismantling
 
Reconstruction

 

 

Don't forget to
join our email list
to be automatically
notified about new items.

About Us

The Beginning

In the early 1970s the landscape of the Lehigh Valley in Eastern Pennsylvania started to go though significant changes. What I knew as "country" or farmland became more and more developed. I watched the barns, houses and entire villages either bulldozed over or burned to the ground. Even though at that time I didn't fully comprehend exactly what these structures represented, I had difficulty understanding how our society could destroy and place such little value on what was once our history. I wanted to learn more about and to preserve how our Pennsylvania German ancestors lived.

I decided to collect as much as I could possibly save. Instead of just bulldozing over the farmland structures, I started to dismantle country homes and barns and other structures of origin circa1740-1900. I brought doors, mantels, flooring, molding, windows, and iron hardware to my home. In a short time I was able to fill three barns with 18th, 19th, & early 20th century materials. To me these were precious works of art and architecture made by the hands of our ancestors, yet, many of my friends laughed and called me "Sanford."

But word got around and soon folks asked me if I was willing to sell some of these materials. Since I knew I had far more than I would need, I decided to provide these vintage building materials for others to use in the construction of their own homes and Wood Natural Restorations was born, officially registered as a business in 1978.


Many of the items I collected from the country were eventually used in the making of my own house, which was later photographed and published in Timber Frame Homes (Fall 1997), Log Home Living (Nov 1997), and HGTV (2001).

Review the HGTV clip by selecting the Play button below.

Get Windows Media Player

 

Learning From The Past

Through the years we dismantled and rebuilt quite a few structures and documented the most important of these. All these structures were either scheduled for demolition or no future use was anticipated. I seized the moment in our evolving times to play a part in preserving how our ancestors lived.

I learned most of what I know from the actual experience of removing many structures over the years. I also began reading vernacular 18-20th century books, attending timber frame conferences, and talking to other experts of the Pennsylvania German culture, architecture and art. Over time I developed a fuller understanding and appreciation of our own Pennsylvania German culture and architecture. Ironically, I discovered that recycling of materials for building, and moving structures from one location to another is nothing new. This is something the early settlers did too. I was pleased to realize that what I had been doing was a recycling of our heritage in other ways beyond recycling the objects themselves.

What started out as a curious desire to save vintage architectural elements for future use has turned into a successful business, filled with unknown surprises. Over the span of about three decades I've had many interesting clients and will surely meet many more through this web site. I look forward to sharing with you the rewarding experience of coming into touch with the spirit of the past through hands-on contact with the work our ancestors left behind.

Ken Muth

Site Design and all content copyright 2001-2009, Wood Natural Restorations
Web Site Design by Synergistic Designs.
Updated & Maintained by Sherwood Muth
Please contact webmaster with problems or questions regarding the operation of this site.