Okay– so the following is a chronicle of my recent experience in Williamsville MO at the Gross & Janes railroad tie company shooting photo & video for their new website….the process from start to finish (or “tree to track” as they called it) Everyone from the loggers to the sawmill & plant workers to the railroad men were extremely welcoming and happy to share their stories with me– I was even given what I am told is a Williamsville local staple: a Peanut butter and maple syrup sandwich served with chili!
it's 5am in this photo of a field in the middle of MO & this was the last quiet moment before.....
the men with chainsaws arrived!
On the left is a white oak tree...the stump of this tree will be sold for whiskey barrels. On the right is a 16 year old hardwood logger who has been logging since age 13 when he started with his grandpa.
This company's hardwood logging policy is to harvest the mature trees only from a plot of land, then they rotate plots so this specific piece of land won't be logged again for another 20 years!
I was dangling off the edge of a vibrating semi truck while taking this shot
off to the saw mill....
this giant crane takes trees directly off the flatbeds one truckload at a time
Even with earplugs this was one of the loudest places I have ever been, and so much sawdust in the air and coating everything that I literally coughed it up and had nosebleeds for about a week after my visit
the raw ties arrive by train car to the processing plant where they get sorted and endplated
by this point in the trip I was stuffed up and so tired I was practically hallucinating....I started to "see things" in the woodgrain...this is clearly a mouse face.
and a seagull... don't pretend like you don't see it!
finished product...railroad cross ties.
Thanks for the hospitality, I had a great time and my sinuses are almost totally back to normal!
L Photographie St. Louis wedding photography by Liz Sloan and Kate Hayes
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