The Collins Pine Museum was opened to the public in May of 2007. The building was constructed to look like the old sawmill that was operated by Collins Pine Company in Chester from 1943 until 2001. The post and beam construction inside provides an aesthetic space where the different species of wood grown in this area are featured. The mission of the Collins Pine Museum is to educate people about Lumbering, Forestry and Principles of Sustainability. The building contains exhibits on Lumber Grades, Forest Stands, Old Photos and Implements, Branch and Cone Identification, Saw Milling, Lumber Drying, Co-generation, Sustainability and Information on How Forest Operations Fit Into the Carbon Cycle. There is a small theater room set up so that when people enter, a documentary starts playing on sustainable forestry. A TV screen in the main part of the building can be activated to show a silent video of the sawmill operation. There is an interactive panel on wood species identification, a push-button audio unit with workers voices and a bookcase with books on Local Lumber Companies, Forestry, Logging, and Environmental History. There is also an outdoor display of trucks and equipment that was used by Collins in the 1940s, 50s and 60s, and a 400-year-old Sugar Pine cross section with dates in American history going back to the Jamestown Colony.
There is no admission fee and the Museum is open from mid-May until mid-October, Wednesday through Saturday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Collins Pine Company has been recognized by environmental organizations for their management of the Collins Almanor Forest since 1941. In 1993, these 90,000 acres were the first industrial forest to be environmentally certified according to the standards of the Forest Stewardship Council. The old mill in Chester was replaced by a new state-of-the-art sawmill in 2002, which continues to operate West of the Museum.
For questions, contact Terry Collins at (530) 258-4441 or [email protected].