I t’s one for the record books, known as “Big Charles,” an enormous cypress log, thousands of years old, now on display in front of Tiffins Furniture in Eastpoint. Measuring 24 feet long, and weighing a little more than seven tons, the log was found 12 miles up the Apalachicola River in Sept. 2014 by Charles Golden of Eastpoint, who heads one of the leading recovery operations of deadhead cypress from the river. The ax cut tip, at left, above, was on the exposed portion of the log sticking out of the river bottom. The log likely sank in the 1800s when Apalachicola was a major exporter of cypress lumber.
Owner Tiffany Tiffin said Golden was unable to remove the log initially because it was stuck so deep under the mud. But later, in May 2015, when Golden observed the snag removal operation was loosening the river bottom, he saw his chance to retrieve it. Justin Golden and Jeremy Nowling dove 30 feet into the river to connect equipment to the log, and on May 22, the log was finally raised.
The Tiffin family purchased the log four days later, and have no plans to cut the prized lumber and use it as part of the handmade cypress “crab cracking” tables for which the store is famous. “We want to ensure that ‘Big Charles’ will never be cut and will remain an important part of Franklin County,” said Tiffin.
By DAVID ADLERSTEIN