MOBILE COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — Every year storms hit the Gulf Coast. These storms can damage, or even topple big trees. But what happens to them next?
Down on Fowl River, you’ll find Richard Kimbrell’s wood shop filled with trees you won’t see in many other places.
“This is Oak off my daughter’s 40 acres across the street,” said Richard Kimbrell as he showed it off. “That’s Grand Bay Pecan.”
The real story, however, is where some of these trees come from.
“It came down in Hurricane Sally… A lot of this wood is Hurricane Sally wood,” said Kimbrell.
Kimbrell is a fourth-generation wood crafter. His family’s roots in sawmills date back to the late 1800s in Meridian, Miss.
“The things I learned about sawmill, I learned from word of mouth,” said Kimbrell. “I never did get to see one of the sawmills.”
As retirement got closer for him, Kimbrell realized he’d been sitting on his next project. The same trees he and his friends used to hang out on – Kimbrell started cleaning up.
“The nook there at the Yacht Club collects all of these big logs after a storm. I got and thinking I’ve got an endless supply of wood right here, all I need is a sawmill, so I bought a sawmill,” said Kimbrell.
Each tree has its own unique story to tell and you never know what you’ll find on the inside until you actually cut in. From unique colors to interesting items embedded in the wood, Kimbrell’s creations are treasures unique to the Gulf Coast.
“Something that come from the area that, you know, the people that own it now are going to be proud of it and tell the story,” said Kimbrell.
One piece of Kimbrell’s was made from some of the last live oak wood from the trees that fell in Bienville Square during Hurricane Sally. “That is a piece of downtown Mobile history that somebody will keep forever,” said Kimbrell.
Giving pieces of history a new purpose one cut at a time. If you would like to see more of Kimbrell’s work, click here.