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150 year old Copper Beech Slabs with presidential history
From the Owner
In December of 2020 I was contacted by Dylan Abreu, who lived on Long Island, NY. Mr. Abreu was in the process of moving from Oyster Bay (Long Island) New York to Charlotte, NC, and he had some slabs with a very special provenance that he was interested in having kiln dried. I have a farm based sawmill and kiln drying business in North Carolina, outside of Raleigh, hence his interest.
Mr. Abreu explained that his great uncle was Charles Wang, the founder of Computer Associates and a big fan of President 'Teddy' Roosevelt. Charles Wang immigrated to the U.S. when he was 8 years old, and like a lot of immigrants really believed in the fundamental premise of individual freedom and rights that the US was created from. Mr. Wang embodied the American Dream; working hard and ultimately becoming a billionaire.
Wang built an estate on Long Island that bordered "Sagamore Hill"; the home built by President Theodore Roosevelt. Teddy Roosevelt built Sagamore Hill and moved in with his family in 1887. It served as the "Summer White House" during his presidency and was where he lived afterward until he passed away in 1919. Charles Wang was well known to the site manager and crew and was a frequent donor and supporter of the museum.
In early winter 2015, Wang approached the site manager and inquired about what they were planning to do about the large Copper Beech tree that was dying on the estate. The site manager replied "what dying Copper Beech?" Turns out that they were unaware that one of the majestic 40' trees that Roosevelt had planted, was dying about 400 feet from the main house. The tree had lost a large upper limb in past wind storms and had started dying and decaying from the mid point down.
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt liked the Copper Beech species, and it is well recorded that he planted many on the estate, including immediately adjacent to his home. Wang felt strongly that the logs from the dying tree should be preserved, and struck a deal to be able to retain the logs if he funded the removal of the dying tree and all of its' debris.
After removal the salvaged logs were transported next door to Wang's estate and stored in his landscaping service area. Unfortunately, not long thereafter he was diagnosed with lung cancer and died. Before he died, he asked his great nephew Dylan Abreu to become responsible for the logs, and to ensure that they were used in a manner that was appropriate for their provenance; to which the Mr. Abreu agreed.
Mr. Abreau arranged for Urban Hardwoods of Huntington, NY to come to the estate and slab the logs, and then had them stacked and stickered under some canopy type shelters for air drying. The treecyling company ended up with some of the boule's, but Mr. Abreu kept two of them. A 36", 13' long section from where the broken limb was, and an 8' long, 40" diameter crescent shaped log from the bottom of the tree. After some discussions between us, he sent a truck down from NY with the boules, and we took charge of them, kiln drying them both.
These historical slabs are now available at Oak City Customs! Provenance letter included!
If interested, purchase online or visit us in-person!