Few great lumbermen in history rival Frederick Weyerhaeuser. As the 20th century dawned, the German immigrant seized 900,000 acres of forestland and harnessed an untapped fortune. The transaction, one of American history’s largest, was only the beginning. The company acquired land, opened a variety of mills and renewed its resource. Eventually, it became the largest timber producer on earth.
- Washington forests aided national defense in global conflict. Weyerhaeuser supplied wood for airplanes, ships, barracks and military depots. In 1940, army housing required 1,500 board feet per soldier, an unmatched demand for timber.
- Few trading partners are more crucial to Weyerhaeuser than Japan. In 1923, when the Great Kanto Earthquake leveled buildings and houses across the country’s central region, Weyerhaeuser assisted in recovery and began a longstanding relationship.
- The Weyerhaeuser Company, early in its history, learned the value of sustainable forestry as away to thrive and maintain its global presence. It opened the nation’s first tree farm near Montesano, Washington, in 1941, prompting the American Tree Farm movement. Weyerhaeuser plants some 66 million seedlings annually.
- Over time, Weyerhaeuser evolved into the world producer of softwood lumber; became co-owner of Norpac, the biggest newsprint facility in North America; and acquired or controlled 20 million acres of timber in North America.
Main background image: Courtesy Weyerhaeuser Company