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Tom King

any idea, from description?

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I know I should have taken a picture, but was hustling to finish what I was doing before rain came yesterday.

After I took down that rotting garage, they wanted me to go around the big building, and grub up all the vine roots, and small trees.  There was one tree that had been dead standing, and fallen.  It was something over 2' at the stump. 

The bark looks like some sort of Pine that I didn't know, but not thick, like a big Loblolly.  I think it was some sort of ornamental, probably planted mid 19th Century.  The wood had little, to no visible grain bands, and was extremely light colored, as in even lighter than Maple.  There is a small heart, and it's green like Poplar.

The really strange thing is that the wood is REALLY HARD.  It was like cutting dry Live Oak.  Mike was cutting it, so I could move parts of it with the excavator, and was making Very slow progress.  I thought it was a dull chain, so I stopped to sharpen it.  I cut it myself after I had sharpened the chain, and it was the hardest wood I ever remember cutting.  It was certainly an over-match for the only chainsaw we had with us, the little 180, but I did manage to cut it enough to finish breaking it with the excavator.

The logs are still laying there, and they would be glad for someone to get them.  I just have absolutely no idea what it is.

Any ideas?

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Thanks.  I looked it up, but that doesn't look like something that would have been planted in Boydton, Va. in the mid 19th Century.  I was thinking it might have been some ornamental that grew way bigger than normal.  The wood is as light as White Pine, with no grain, but really high Janka.

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I don't have any plans for going back that way.  It's an hour from where I live.  I could identify it by pictures.  I think that place was built in 1838, and then more building done right after the Civil War.  It's the Old Randolph Macon College ruins, in Boydton, Va.

edited to add:  Here is a website with some old pictures.  It's the brick, four story buiding.  The roof has caved in, but the walls are still standing.  It looks like there were some good sized trees out front, but can't tell anything about the back.  This tree was about 75 feet behind the building, and the limbs brushed against the building when it fell.

http://sovahomefront.org/_site_RandolphMacon.php

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