Newsoms company working in D.C.

Published 9:15 am Friday, July 22, 2011

The wood pilings in the empty Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool in Washington, D.C., were made by Atlantic Wood in Newsoms as part of a $30 million project to keep the pool from sinking. -- Gwen Albers | Tidewater News

Last weekend, my significant other, Bob Rudzik, and Tidewater News co-workers Kate Archer, Dale Liesch and Ryan Outlaw took a marathon trip to Washington, D.C.

When we walked past the empty Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, we saw the handiwork of Atlantic Wood in Newsoms.

The pool on the National Mall is sinking, and Atlantic Wood received a contract to supply wood pilings for its $30 million renovation. The pilings will serve as a foundation for the 80-year-old pool, which gets 24 million visitors annually.

The pool was built without a foundation on a swamp with some sand and asphalt.

Atlantic Wood is a 110-year-old Savannah, Ga.-based company, which has had a facility in Newsoms since 1987. Pilings were made from Southern Yellow Pine harvested in Virginia and North and South Carolinas. Atlantic Wood made 2,700 to 2,800 pilings for the project, which involved pealing, drying and treating the harvested timber.

The bulk of the old concrete pool has been ripped out, with remnants of the original asphalt bottom remaining.

• We really appreciate the folks from Ruth Camp Campbell Memorial Branch library in Franklin and Frank Davis, director of Franklin Department of Parks & Recreation, for keeping us posted with what our young people are doing this summer.

On Thursday, Frank was taking a group of kids to the Norfolk Tides game. Earlier in the week, he took them to a fishing clinic on the James River Bridge Fishing Pier.

Frank is really good about sending us photos of their ventures, which we love sharing with our readers.

The library has one to two programs a week; library workers also send us photos from their activities.

On Tuesday, youth attending the Franklin Summer Reading program were entertained by performance artist extraordinaire Jonathan Austin. Jonathan had the crowd laughing with his jokes and mesmerized by his juggling, magic tricks and seven-foot tall unicycle.

Thanks again and keep the photos coming. We’d love to see more from other organizations.

Photos and information can be e-mailed to, or dropped off at The Tidewater News at 1000 Armory Drive, Franklin.

• I see the Franklin-Southampton County Fair is hosting its Tiny Tots Contest again.

This was a lot of fun during last year’s fair, although not that many toddlers were entered. Monday, Aug. 1, is this year’s signup deadline for the 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 13, contest in the Entertainment Building.

If interested, contact contest chairwoman Darlene Wilkerson at 377-7550 or

GWEN ALBERS is managing editor of The Tidewater News. Her email address is