Woodworker Wally Martin picked up a few pieces of lumber that was part of the now toppled Alder Inn. (Wally Marin/Special to The Star)

Woodworker Wally Martin picked up a few pieces of lumber that was part of the now toppled Alder Inn. (Wally Marin/Special to The Star)

Alder Inn goes from hotel to coffee table

Woodworker Wally Martin plans to make projects with lumber preserved from Aldergrove hotel

Murrayville resident Wally Martin is a woodworking enthusiast.

“I’ve been a furniture maker all my life,” he said, noting that he’s tackled just able every nameable peice of furniture as a project.

When the Alder Inn came tumbling down the owner of the Princess and the Pea Bed and Breakfast made it his mission to get his hands on some of the lumber that would otherwise be scrapped.

“When wood ages it gets stiffer, harder, denser, and darker,” Martin explained. “These qualities are all important when building furniture.”

Built in the late 1940s, Martin said the seven decades that the Alder Inn had been standing, the wood was twisted and formed into the perfect conditions.

“Every woodworker in Canada is jealous of this wood,” he assured.

Martin made a couple calls to the Township of Langley to try and secure a few pieces, learning the lumber would be sent to Western Reclaimed Timber in Maple Ridge.

He managed to nab some of the the old growth Douglas Fir this month.

“My daughter went over with the truck and picked it up. It’s very little – maybe one per cent of what had been in the hotel,” Martin explained. “It is beautiful beyond my wildest imagination.”

His goal? To make a 1940s style table.

READ MORE: PHOTO & VIDEO: Alder Inn brought to the ground

“You know that iconic photo of the old cars parked in front of the Alder Inn?” Martin asked. “Well, I want to transfer that image to the table top; we can do it by laser image or I have a friend who’s a talented artist that can paint it on and then we’ll put a clear varnish.”

Martin said that he already has plenty of tables and doesn’t necessarily need another one – it’s just all part of the fun when it comes to woodworking.

“Maybe I’ll put on the deck or something or maybe make it into a collectors thing,” he pondered.

Martin noted that he will have a significant amount of wood left over and might make a series of tables or items dedicated to the Alder Inn.

“My wood project will take a few months,” he said. “I will keep you up-to-date as my project unfolds. I’m very excited about this.”


Is there more to this story?

Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@aldergrovestar.com

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