A scientist turned sawyer named Ollie Burgess turns trees into rustic building materials in the northern Adirondack township of St. Armand. It’s a bustling business, on one hand appearing straight out of the nineteenth century and on the other incorporating modern technology at every turn. Whether it’s rough-sawn native lumber or a mortise-and-tenon-jointed cedar railing with the bark on, if it’s on a delivery truck bound for a building site in the United States, it’s likely point of origin was Burgess’s Specialty Wood Products.

Produced for Mountain Lake PBS by Josh Clement ( and Ed Kanze (

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