For building materials, we’ve relied on Home Depot and Lowe’s, as well as local sources like Friedmans (a Santa Rosa institution whose slogan is, “If we don’t have it, you don’t need it”) and The Lumber Baron, but my favorite place is Berry’s Sawmill in Duncan’s Mills. Berry’s is a local institution – turn off the main road and down the drive way and you enter a different world.
The caretaker has built a mini-hobbit wonderland around the main house where the office is located, with gorgeous, quirky bridges, gates, wishing wells, and ponds. They have an old boiler that all the guys gather around, cool industrial machinery, and an amazing selection of wood, from rough construction timber to milled flooring, most of which is stored inside. Among other things, we bought the Cumaru for the deck from them. I got a big thrill when the huge truck pulled up to drop the wood and another one when a GIRL got out – Maureen Berry herself. When I was growing up my favorite book was called Notable American Women – an old fashioned book that had been my mother’s but surprisingly progressive in recounting the inspiring stories of Clara Barton, Florence Nightingale, Eleanor Roosevelt, and others. I still love to see women doing unexpected things.