On October 12, 1962 one of the most powerful storms of the 20th century rocked the West Coast. The famous Columbus Day Storm was felt from Canada to California. Waves crested at 30 feet on the Oregon Coast. Winds as high as 179 miles per hour ripped roofs off buildings and uprooted trees throughout the Pacific Northwest. One Western Walnut tree in the front yard of a home in tiny Keizer, Oregon survived the storm, but with a serious battle scar: A lightning strike on its trunk.
The house where the tree grew passed from one owner to the next, but the tree – and its story – remained. The lightning bolt seared the side of the tree, but over time the tree regenerated around the burned area. When the house’s current owners decided to take the tree down, they hoped it could live on in another form. So they contacted us at The Joinery and we jumped at the chance to purchase this piece of history.
Over the last year, the Lightning Tree has been turned into a custom bed, a desk, a dining table and a set of nightstands. With our focus on design and quality, we believe these pieces could very well live longer than the tree itself.
Now, down to the last slab remaining from the Lightning Tree, we’ve produced this beautiful live edge dining table, highlighting the rich, dark grain that makes Western Walnut so highly prized. The area where lightning struck over 50 years ago is still visible on one edge of the table.
While the Columbus Day Storm wreaked havoc on the region, the Lightning Tree survived. Now it begins its next life as the Lightning Table, which will last long into the future.
The Lightning Tree as it was being taken down in Keizer, Oregon.