Local company preserves pieces of New Mexico history in unique way

New Mexico

Parts of New Mexico’s history are coming alive in a unique way. One local company says something as simple as saving wood is not only preserving the past, but it’s even finding a second life on the big screen.

“These vigas here are well over a hundred years old. They’re made out of pinon,” said Steve Huchting.

In this warehouse, tucked away in Carnuel, New Mexico, are hundreds of pieces of wood, some decades old and each one has a unique story.

“This metal door right here has bullet holes on both sides. The woman was 93-years-old. When we questioned it, she said it was a shoot out. It came off of an old saloon in Tularosa,” said Huchting.

Stories like these are why Steve and Claudia Huchting got into this business in the first place. They created their company Rangewood Reclaimers several years ago.

They set out to find these rare pieces in small towns throughout the state.

“We hang wanted posters stating that we are looking for old wooden structures, windmills, old barns, anything that has history behind it that we can preserve,” said Huchting.

The couple and their crew will then drive out to that location and dismantle the building one piece at a time. However, Huchting says they don’t accept everything.

“If it doesn’t have a story and it does not contain history, it is not something that we bring into our warehouse,” said Huchting.

The wood that is accepted is categorized by the time period in the warehouse. The couple says that care and extra time they take with each piece has now cemented them as a fixture in the New Mexico film industry.

“Movie sets are trying to get the most original preservation of that period of time, of that circa. Rather than have the wood shipped in, we can provide the history, the stories, and the period pieces that they need,” said Huchting.

Huchting says Rangewood Reclaimers is registered with the New Mexico Film Commission and they are also certified New Mexico True. 

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