Louisiana Antique Cypress: Big Industry, 1911
Antique Cypress and Where it Got It’s Start!
The antique cypress we used today got its start from companies like F.B. Williams Cypress Company. Billed as the largest Cypress Mill in the world at the time, this artist’s view of The F.B. Williams Cypress Company at Patterson, Louisiana appeared in AMERICAN LUMBERMAN in 1911.
Opened in 1906 by Cypress baron Frank B. Williams (known as the Cypress King), it was responsible for producing 85 percent of the entire output of Louisiana Cypress. It was the largest cypress mill in the world and still to this day has never been surpassed for the volume of Cypress it milled, recorded as 75,000 sq ft per day. Profits averaged at $1 million a year which is equivalent to $26 million in today’s economy. Crews would cut 35-40 trees a day with saws and a pullboat would retrieve 100-120 cypress logs a day. Those that cut out in the swamps would stay out there for weeks living in houseboats or sleeping on the banks, cutting day after day. Those that worked in the mill would retire to their quaint cypress homes. They would begin again the next day sawing down 100 foot trees on dry land or in pirogues. Thanks to their steadfast employees and smart business decisions, the F.B. Williams Cypress Company was built to last! Still in operation, Williams Inc owns and manages over 85,000 acres of land in 13 parishes in south Louisiana.
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