Wyoming’s dry, harsh conditions aren’t for the faint of heart.
It was a certain rugged type of individual who decades ago homesteaded and ranched the often unwelcoming terrain around this state.
They cut wood with primitive tools and built houses and structures to live and work. They spent their lives fighting those elements.
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Now, new generations are finding something beautiful in the remains of old ranch life.
Barnwood Bros. owners Adam Jackson, Kyle Petrie and Eric Mundorf have taken it upon themselves to rescue and repurpose wood from long-abandoned, outdated and dilapidated barns and sheds.
The three long-time carpenters and wood fanatics have been fans of aged wood for years. They decided to start their business after becoming frustrated with driving long distances to find stock. The idea of ever using new wood with with faked age was out of the question.
“We pick up one man’s trash and turn it into another man’s treasure,” said Mundorf.
It’s not uncommon for ranch crews to demolish barns and destroy all of the pieces, leaving nothing but rubble behind.
The Barnwood Bros. will carefully dismantle a barn, salvaging everything from the wood to the nails and hardware holding it together.
“We come out of it and they’re left with a clean piece of property, and we build inventory with the oldest and best wood we can find,” said Petrie.
“Everything that has been in the weather and the elements speaks for itself,” said Petrie. “You can’t recreate this.”
“Wyoming’s barn wood is very dry, it doesn’t need to be put in a kiln to cure,” said Mundorf. “It’s done moving, it’s not going to twist or warp on you.”
Finding the abandoned barns is part of the challenge.
“You gotta beat the dirt roads and find a lead,” said Petrie. “Driving around Wyoming, you just see it.”
Connections and word-of-mouth also help as people who need a dilapidated barn removed hear about the service.
The team has built a showroom to feature some of the wood and design ideas, as well as a connected woodworking shop where they do custom woodwork including furniture and cabinetry. They also offer custom instillation.
“We want to appeal to everyone from your major contractors…all the way down to your Pinterest moms, weekend warriors and DIYers,” said Mundorf. They’re also hoping to connect with the artistic community who might find inspiration with the rugged pieces, and will offer consignment art sales in the showroom.
“We’re really lucky with this community because everyone is proud about being in Wyoming,” said Petrie. “The history, the feel, the Western ideals…”
Respect of history and wood inspires the team. “It’s incredible, when you get to preserve a bit of something built 100-years ago…” said Mundorf.
Barnwood Bros. is located at 1241 E. Yellowstone Hwy. on the west side of the lot. Their grand opening is on Friday. See their Facebook page by clicking here.