Weyerhaeuser Timber Company incorporates on January 18, 1900.

  • By HistoryLink Staff
  • Posted 1/21/2006
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 7617
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On January 18, 1900, the Weyerhaeuser Timber Company incorporates. This occurs about two weeks after Frederick Weyerhaeuser (1834-1914) purchases some 900,000 acres (1,406 square miles) of Washington state timberlands from railroad magnate James J. Hill (1838-1916) in one of the largest land transactions in American history. The new timber company, headquartered in Tacoma, is the largest in the state.

By 1903, Weyerhaeuser Timber Company owned more than 1.5 million acres of land in Washington. Frederick Weyerhaeuser continued to live in St. Paul, Minnesota, while George S. Long managed the day-to-day operations. Long would serve in this position for three decades. For 60 years beginning in 1911, the Tacoma Building in downtown Tacoma served as corporate headquarters.

At first Weyerhaeuser concentrated on buying land. In 1915, in Everett, Washington, the firm opened the nation's first all-electric lumber mill. The Everett mill became its principal supplier to East Coast markets.

In 1959, the name was changed to simply the Weyerhaeuser Company to reflect the diversity of products. Today (2006) the firm, with international headquarters in Federal Way, Washington, is one of the world’s largest producers of lumber, pulp, paper, packaging materials, and other wood-related products. It operates about 270 sawmills, pulp and paper mills, and wood products plants in 18 different countries, and employs some 60,000 people. The company is among the world’s largest private landowners, controlling seven million acres of forest in the United States and another 31 million acres in Canada.

Sources: Weyerhaeuser Company website accessed January 21, 2006 (http://www.weyerhaeuser.com/); HistoryLink.org Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History, "Weyerhaeuser makes one of the largest land purchases in United States history on January 3, 1900" (by Greg Lange) and "Weyerhaeuser Company" (by James R. Warren and Cassandra Tate), http://www.historylink.org/ (accessed January 21, 2006). See Also: Robert Ficken, "Weyerhaeuser and the Pacific Northwest Timber Industry, 1899-1903," Pacific Northwest Quarterly Vol. 70,  No. 4 (1979), 146-154; and Robert Ficken, Forested Land: a History of Lumbering in Western Washington (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1987).

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