Hardwood & Softwood Archives | West Wind Hardwood

The Mysterious Death of the Namesake of the Douglas-fir

Was David Douglas trampled by a wild bull, or lured into a trap?

Hidden off the beaten path, the slopes of Mauna Kea, the dormant Hawaiian volcano, there’s a rough stone spire that marks the spot where the famed botanist David Douglas is said to have died. But what this monument to the namesake of the Douglas-fir doesn’t allude to is the story of the strange events surrounding Douglas’s death. There is no mention, for example, of the former convict who will likely always be implicated.

Edward “Ned” Gurney was an Englishman from Middlesex, about the same age as Douglas, but the two couldn’t have been more different. “Gurney is raised just above street urchin,” says Mills. Where Douglas had come up surrounded by education and palace finery, Gurney had run afoul of the law at an early age and had been paying for it ever since. According to Mills, Gurney had been caught stealing around three shillings worth of lead fixtures off a house, and as punishment, he was sent to the infamous Botany Bay penal colony in Australia. At the time there were only three sentences for those sent to the Australian penal settlements: 7 years, 15 years, and life. Gurney got the lightest sentence.

Eventually, Gurney was sent to work on a ship and by simply disembarking in Hawaii, he was able to start a new life. He became a cattle hunter, establishing himself in a hut on the slopes of Mauna Kea. Gurney had been on the island for years by the time Douglas stopped by for breakfast that fateful morning. What exactly happened to Douglas that morning may never be fully known, but whether his death was the result of a simple hiking accident or something more sinister, the lives of both he and Gurney effectively ended that day.

Large Parota Slabs – Any Interest?

We are looking into acquiring a large load of Parota (Guanacaste) live edge slabs, rounds etc. This wood grows in Central America and Mexico. It’s white sapwood that surrounds its deep reddish-brown heartwood makes for a striking appearance!

Reserve Your Own Parota Slab

Would like some feedback from our customers on whether this amount is worthy to bring in. If you think you’d be interested in purchasing one of these slabs from us we want to hear from you!

If we get enough positive response we may see this acquisition a reality!

Email us today! Or call 800-667-2275.

Your Next Unique Project? Potential Product Available to West Wind

Your Next Unique Project? Potential Product Available to West Wind

The pictures show some products potentially available to West Wind, usually something we would not likely stock……. but would bring in if there’s enough interest.

Prices on request along with time frame to bring in.

Ekki Log Slices

4ft high by 4ft in diameter. Butcher blocks for restaurants, or tables, you would not need bases!

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The LO(n)G of the Law

The LO(n)G of the Law

This past April, we had unexpected visit from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.  Three Natural Resource Officers (NROs) – in full uniform – drove into our parking lot.  Turns out they were looking for agents of logs.  How did they figure we dealt with logs?  Well, we’re listed in the Victoria Yellow Pages under ‘Millwork’.  True story!!  They thought we were a mill.

Nevertheless, this prompted us to ask questions and this is what we discovered.  Compliance & Enforcement (C&E) is the law enforcement arm of the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.  Its main purpose is to make sure that a variety of resource management laws are being followed on and in BC’s public lands, water and forests and to take action where there is non-compliance.  They also have been designated as Special Conservation Officers, Land Officers, BC Parks Rangers and Fisheries Inspectors with the authority to enforce the associated legislation.

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