Eagle Reclaimed Lumber Unveils Beautiful Wood From Old Barns

August 10, 2012

By Jessica Mozo

Mike Watson of Eagle Reclaimed Lumber in Murfreesboro, Tennessee

When homeowners buy lumber from Eagle Reclaimed Lumber of Murfreesboro, they aren’t getting factory produced wood from who knows where – they’re getting a one-of-a-kind piece of Tennessee history.

Founded in 2008, Eagle Reclaimed Lumber was the brainchild of Michael Watson, who buys old barns and buildings, refurbishes the antique lumber and sells it to be made into everything from hardwood flooring and cabinets to entertainment centers and countertops.

“It’s one of the prettiest forms of recycling you could ever see,” says Watson. “When you see lumber being reused instead of burned or bull-dozed, it becomes an emotional product because it has a story – it didn’t come out of a big-box store. With most of our lumber, we can tell customers exactly where it came from and when the barn was built. It creates great conversation.”

Lumber at Eagle Reclaimed Lumber in Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Beginning Eagle Reclaimed Lumber

Watson and his team have dismantled approximately 50 barns so far, many of which were built between the mid-1800s and the 1930s. He started with an old barn that was on his own farm in Rockvale.

“I wanted to do something with the barn because there was a lot of beauty in the wood. I didn’t want to just tear it down,” Watson says. “I cleaned the wood and shaved off the old greyed surface and discovered it was red oak and beech wood. The grey or brown surface of old wood often hides its color and character, and once you open that up, you see its character come out.”

Next Watson dismantled a barn for a man in Walterhill who was building a new barn and simply wanted the old one removed without bulldozing or burning it.

“It was a beautiful barn made of oak, poplar, beech, pine and walnut,” Watson recalls.

Watson took the wood to his warehouse in Murfreesboro, where it was sorted, graded and cleaned.

“We made some of it into six-inch heart of pine flooring, and we made some tables to let people see how the wood grain looks after being repurposed,” Watson says. “Our business spread by word-of-mouth. People were surprised by how pretty the wood is. The tightness of the grain is far greater than lumber you see in today’s market, so it has a more decorative appearance.”

Lumber from Eagle Reclaimed Lumber in Murfreesboro, Tennessee

Wood Varieties and Uses

Shrouded beneath decades of dirt, wear and tear, Watson’s team has discovered many varieties of wood, including walnut, chestnut, cherry, heart of pine, Southern yellow pine, red and white oak, poplar and beech. Customers use the lumber for flooring, wallboard, wainscoting, trim work, farm tables, coffee tables, entertainment centers, counter and bar tops, and more.

“We encourage customers to come pick out their wood so they can see different varieties. Walnut is my personal favorite because of its rich brown earthtones and distinctive grains,” Watson says. “Beech is another of my favorites because it has a very decorative grain pattern. It’s one of the most underestimated products I’ve seen – when people actually see it made into a table, they love it.”

People often ask Watson about the integrity of the antique wood, wondering if it will hold up for many more years to come. But he says the lumber is actually sturdier than some of the lumber you’d find in today’s market, and Eagle Reclaimed Lumber puts the old lumber through sterilization and drying processes to ensure it is bug-free and of high quality.

“It’s amazing the Old-World craftsmanship that went into these old barns – how they were put together and how sturdy they are,” he explains. “Today, we’re seeing more metal barns because they are more cost-effective, and we’re losing history in the process. By repurposing the wood from an old barn, the barn lives on.”

Watson says the best part about his work is getting to meet so many interesting people.

“We talk to them as we’re taking the barns down, and they tell us stories about the barns – like the things they used to do in there when they were kids,” Watson says. “It seems to bring back a lot of great memories.”

Got an Old Barn?

If you are interested in buying antique lumber, or if you know of an old barn that needs to be removed, you can contact Eagle Reclaimed Lumber at (615) 427-9759 or online at  www.eaglereclaimedlumber.com.


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  1. Tony Albright says:

    I would like pictures and lengths of your lumber along with price list and if I can purchase in lots. Thanks Tony Albright

  2. linda jarnagin says:

    I have an 85 year old barn that I am interested in selling

    • Tammy Wiseman says:

      I bought A historical house in Franklin , Ky early 1800s very large and I have been working on it for 6 yrs now. Over the summer I took a job helping take down some old barns in the area. The sole reason I wanted to do it was for the wood . I have since gone on to open my own buisness doing it myself. I will have more wood than I would ever dream of using . I wanted to see if you purchased lumber, and what kinds, and what your rates were. Thank you, Tammy Wiseman

      • Rachel Bertone says:


        If you are interested in buying or selling lumber, or if you know of an old barn that needs to be removed, you can contact Eagle Reclaimed Lumber at (615) 427-9759 or online at http://www.eaglereclaimedlumber.com.

        Thanks for your comments and for reading Tennessee Home & Farm!

        Rachel Bertone
        TN Home & Farm

  3. John Lewis says:

    Just found your info. I have a barn here in Calvert County Maryland. It is a two story
    @40×42. I can send pictures. Would like to sell it.

    Thanks for your reply

    Happy Trails – John Lewis

    • Rachel Bertone says:

      Hi John,
      You can contact Eagle Reclaimed Lumber directly at (615) 427-9759 and they should be able to help you out. Thanks for your comment!
      Rachel Bertone

  4. Tom Evans says:

    Have an old barn for sale

  5. Jason Godbey says:

    I have some old barn lumber I need to sell, do you buy old timbers? If you are interested please let me know and also how much you pay per foot and the dimensions you buy.

    • Rachel Bertone says:

      Hi Jason,

      Thanks for your comment. We suggest contacting Eagle Reclaimed Lumber directly to find out more about their prices and if they buy old timbers. You can reach them at (615) 427-9759 or online at http://www.eaglereclaimedlumber.com. Hope this helps!

      Rachel Bertone

  6. JANET KNOWLES says:

    MY HOME PHONE # IS 615-847-8310 OR MY CELL # IS 615-481-5524.



  7. Richard Valdez says:

    Do you do any resaw work I have some slabs I need cut. Can you help me? Thanks

  8. chris middleton says:

    I have a barn approx. 80 + yrs old. Do u buy these old barns. I’m not sure of the types of wood in it .

    • Rachel Bertone says:

      Hi Chris,

      You can contact Eagle Reclaimed Lumber directly at (615) 427-9759 and they should be able to help you with your question. Thanks for your comment!

      Rachel Bertone
      TN Home and Farm

  9. Julie Mitchell says:

    Michael just like you, I grew up as a child with the access of the family barn, the soft smell of hay and animal feed still linger in the mind, The love of old barns has stayed with me my whole life. I have started my company from scratch and would like to get your advice in certain areas of work. I also specialize in beautiful Redwood from as early as the 1800′s to mid 1900′s. All old school structures to old horse barns to government secured buildings awaiting auction are just a few I have on my inventory list but this stuff goes fast!! Just as quick as I obtain a sample of a work order I have a buyer set up before the demo even begins. Get ahold of me get through my email I sent you and I will be happy to hear from you and Thank You for your time Julie Mitchell Owner of Mitchell’s Reclaimed Barn Wood in Crescent City, California the beautiful majestic Redwood country.

  10. chad elliott says:

    I have an old house and also an old barn i am interested in selling lumber from. The house was built by my grandfather back in the 40s. The barn is about the same time frame. Each one has alot of useable lumber on them. The house is painted white and the barn is natural color. I am not sure of the wood type as i havent investigated very much. Please call me at 615-427-0054. thanks.Chad