Green and Sustainable Caskets
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For Centuries the waterways have been utilized as the means to
transport harvested timber to the lumber mills for fabrication into lumber.
The northwest exemplified this practice with massive log rafts being a
common entity well into the past century. It was not uncommon at the
turn of the 20th century to see “Benson Rafts” transporting millions of
board feet of lumber in a single raft from the Clatskanie River on a 17
day journey to the Pacific Ocean and
on to San Diego for milling. While this style of raft was not the norm, numerous smaller
log rafts navigated the Columbia and it’s tributaries.
The more common coned-bowed rafts were sectioned and could range in
length up to 2000 feet in length and 150 feet in width with the logs
stacked side-by-side or in height sometimes reaching 6.5 feet. To matter
the arrangement the load was then suspended between an outside log
frameworks called “booms”. These two opposing sides were secured together
through a series of cross member logs traversing from one side of the raft
to the other. The system was then lashed together with large cables that
would run through sizable holes bored in the ends of the logs, which in turn
jointed the log rafts. These logs were used repeatedly and were the
select of all the timbers due to being the oldest (estimates place these timbers
anywhere from 200-250 years old when cut) and consequently the strongest.
Recently these premier logs have been reclaimed from the Columbia and
are being milled into usable lengths of lumber. Rustic Rivers has been
fortunate to obtain access to this milled salvaged lumber with the
intent to return these timbers to nature
in the creation of green caskets (As certified by the national Green Burial Council).
All of our models are hand made utilizing nothing man made other than
biodegradable nontoxic glue and specialized ash dowels that provide the
greatest holding capacity (see insert). All of our models may be constructed from the
Columbia River reclaimed Douglas Fir or renewable Pine. Thus, regardless of preference,
the final fabricated product is unique, natural,
nontoxic, and biodegradable (even our fillers are made from reclaimed natural wood fibers).
The models may be purchased with a rough or smooth surface. A rough
surface is comprised of medium sanding to remove excess glue and cutting
marks. A smooth finish has a fine sanding as any piece of furniture.
If a finish is desired, ours are hand applied/buffed green finishes of
natural flax seed and biodegradable hand applied hand applied beeswax.
Two styles of pillows are also available. The top Pillow is constructed
by utilizing an unbleached linen case
with raw lamb’s wool filler. A $25 donation from each purchase the
Juniper Ridge Livestock 4-H club
of Eastern Oregon for providing the wool, The second pillow, still has the unbleached
linen case but with a shredded paper filler.
From 30 years of experience as a licensed Funeral Director/Embalmer,
John has taken his knowledge and understanding of the business and with
Stan’s designing and fabrication skills, has created a product that meets the
needs of today’s environmentally conscience society.
The history of Oregon is the history of the lumber industry. Rustic River is now creating
a product that will allow you the ability to bring history to your future.