Photograph by Bridget Shevlin
Darcie Burroughs calls the custom-building and -milling business she and her husband, Mark, own and operate “tree to table.” Among the services Steel Pines offers is a story for their customers to share with future generations, about how the timbers in a beloved home or camp came from surrounding trees, bringing the forest inside. It’s the ultimate in local.
The Burroughses launched Steel Pines in the southern Adirondacks in 2015. At first it was a part-time gig, but there was a booming market for new homes and garages, additions and renovations. Five years later they went all in. Mark’s skills as a contractor and in Adirondack rustic building—incorporating logs, rough-sawn lumber, exposed beams and post-and-beam framing in his work—and the couple’s portable mill are a draw, particularly for those committed to a sustainable lifestyle. Steel Pines can take trees from clients’ land, mill them on-site and use those materials to build, just as early Adirondack settlers did.
Mark is originally from Glenville, but grew up visiting family in Edinburg. Darcie, who was raised in New Jersey, spent years living in Brooklyn, working as an editor for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, though she often spent time at her family camp in Warrensburg. The two met while hiking in the Adirondacks, and soon, says Darcie, “I fell in love with a mountain man and the area.”
Today Edinburg is home for the couple, their two-year-old son, Beau, their dog, Axle, plus ponies and chickens. From here, Darcie, a member of the National Association of Women in Construction, works remotely for a software company when she’s not managing the business and marketing side of Steel Pines, named for the combination of the Burroughses’ urban versus rural backgrounds.
The shop and sawmill sit on the family’s 17-acre property, near Great Sacandaga Lake, which allows for “a nice hub for what we have going on,” says Mark. Trees here are abundant and the business is in close proximity to customers in Saratoga Springs, with easy access to all points north in the Adirondacks. Custom carpenters often visit the shop, bringing particular logs for Mark to mill that they’ll transform into beautiful furniture or some other project. The Burroughses have two full-time employees and work with subcontractors—electricians or plumbers or other framers—from the area, “to support the local economy,” says Darcie.
“There’s a lot of heart and soul and feelings that go into our projects”—these are customers’ homes, after all. “We want them to feel comfortable, confident and safe with us. And it’s going to look damn good.”
Learn more about Steel Pines and see examples of their projects and milling services at www.steelpines.com or by calling (518) 528-2266.