Rich Mitchell is a deadhead logger that has worked in the business of reclaiming sinker logs of cypress, pine and other river and swamp wood for many years. “Deadheads” or “sinkers” is a term used to describe the bald cypress logs that were harvested in the 1800’s and sank to the bottom of the river as they were floated to their destination. These grand logs came from massive trees that were over 100 years old and became a demanded commodity at that time due to the tremendous building spree in the South and Coastal regions of the United States.
Today, this wood has become a desired commodity once again because of its extreme durability due to being preserved in the cool deep waters and also because it presents a limitless range of color depending on the soil and minerals in the water. Not only does it make great material for basic building but because of it’s beauty, has found it’s way into the decorative realm as well. Pecky cypress is a designer and architect’s favorite for inlaid ceilings, cabinets, paneling, doors, hardwood flooring and furniture.
But the process of obtaining this product isn’t easy. It’s a lengthy one that begins by hunting and locating the underwater sinker treasures and then getting them to the mill where they can be cut to expose the true inner beauty that lies beneath the bark’s surface. This is where Rich and other deadhead loggers come into the scenario. It requires skill and experience that he gained over the years working with other large Florida-based companies. He honed his skills as a master sawyer and became an expert at the tedious and dangerous task of locating these sunken logs in the dark and murky waters and bringing them to the surface.
Part of the appeal for Rich is the anticipation of what the cut will reveal in the wood slabs and he says, “You never know what you’re going to get when you start the saw process. Every piece is unique and different”. The pursuit to uncover nature’s raw beauty and share it with others is what urged him to start his own lumber company and bring his two sons into it as well.
Rich Mitchell is a deadhead logger not just because this is where life landed him but because of a true desire to uncover nature’s artwork. Mossy Head Lumber operates a full-service lumber mill with no middle-man involved and offers mill-direct prices to builders, suppliers and individuals. A large inventory is always kept on site and they will deliver. Lumber can be cut to any specification. Custom orders are welcome and the customer can hand-pick their pieces for 100% guaranteed satisfaction. Together the Mitchells proudly produce a quality product at an honest price and they do it at a notch above the rest - all while living their dream!