WILTON — The Howard family business, Logger’s Den, is bringing the past alive while finding uses for pieces of lumber not wanted by others.

An open house will be held at the Logger’s Den on Route 2 in Wilton Saturday, June 8 beginning at 8 a.m. A sawmill, retail store and sap house, seen at left, are just part of the Howard’s family business. Livermore Falls Advertiser photo by Pam Harnden

During his 55 years as a logger, Keith Howard said he kept the “stupid, crooked, odd pieces of lumber” and made furniture. He never sold his pieces.

“I’ve done this all my life, rainy days and snowy ones,” he said.

“He kept it hush, hush,” his daughter Juli Howard said.

For years Keith had been looking for a place to open a family business.

“This place came up, so we jumped on it. I never dreamed of having something like this but here we are. The whole concept is with family in mind, going back in years, old timer stuff,” he said.

An open house Saturday, June 8 begins at 8 a.m. Visitors will be able to see the many aspects of the business. There will be free food and drawings for a picnic table and a chair.

Keith’s son Billy logs with him in the winter. His daughter, Megan DeSouza keeps the books and will be flying up from Vera Beach, Florida, for the open house. Juli is a “jack of all trades,” cutting and splitting wood, running the skidder and in charge of sales.

The Logger’s Den. located off Route 2 near the Munson Road, features a custom

Charlie Adams saws a log at the Logger’s Den in Wilton. The custom designed saw can saw a 46 inch log. Livermore Falls Advertiser photo by Pam Harnden

sawmill that can handle logs up to 46 inches.

Firewood and lumber are sold. Firewood is sold tree length or by the rack on an honor system. Lumber from all Maine wood species is available in different dimensions. Boards taken from torn down barns are also stocked.

A retail store and the area around it are filled with “wacky furniture.”

Live edges are found on many furniture pieces. Rather than cutting off the tree bark and making a straight edge, the bark and natural contour of the log is retained.

Steps in the retail store feature interesting live edges. Railings are made from long tree limbs with bark intact.

“No piece is the same. Each is unique in its own way,” Juli said.

Keith added, “Everything here we cut, sawed and built ourselves. Some furniture is finished, some as they are. People like both options.

“If you want something built, talk to me or bring me a picture. We’ll make it.”

Juli Howard stands in the retail store of Logger’s Den in Wilton. Penny candy, wacky furniture, antiques and more are sold using an RC Allen hand crank cash register, seen at center. Livermore Falls Advertiser photo by Pam Harnden

Keith said a lot of wood is given to him by people who can’t sell it. He saves the crotches from trees with two tops.

“Crotches become table legs. Unusually shaped pieces become table tops or bowls,” he said.

Juli said bird houses, cutting boards, boot jacks and wine racks are for sale, Picnic tables, chairs, cradles, trestle tables, gun cases and cedar chests are available.

Penny candy for children, honey, preserves and syrup from local farms and antiques are also sold. All sales are made with an RC Allen old fashioned cash register. It uses paper and has a hand crank.

Keith Howard shows the trap door he added to the sap house at the Logger’s Den in Wilton. The door will make it easier to load wood to be used in the boiler. Livermore Falls Advertiser photo by Pam Harnden

The Howards have built a sap house where people will be able to bring sap and have it boiled down. A special feature is low door at the back of the building. Wood can be delivered through it (near the boiler) making it easier to keep the floor clean.

An 1870s cider press has been rebuilt. People can grind apples to make cider.

“There’s no charge for boiling or pressing. It’s a family thing. I just want to go back in time,” Keith said. “It’s not a job, it’s an experience.”

Juli said, “I enjoy working with my dad, learning something new every day. Hard work is healthy.”

For more information visit https://loggersden.com/ or call Juli at 491-8510. A Facebook page will soon be available.

Keith Howard uses unusual log sections such as those shown here to make wacky furniture available at the Logger’s Den in Wilton. Livermore Falls Advertiser photo by Pam Harnden

 

 

 

 

 

 

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