Lewis and Clark forestry buildling


Our Roots

The World's "Largest Log Cabin."

We trace our history back to the Lewis and Clark Centennial American Pacific Exposition and Oriental Fair held in Portland, Oregon in 1905. One of the most popular buildings at the fair was the Forestry Building; a giant log cabin built out of huge logs with the bark still attached. The building was so popular that when the fair ended, it was turned over to the state of Oregon and became a Portland landmark until August 17, 1964, when it burned to the ground.

Western Forestry Center

Out of the ashes of the fire, civic leaders conceived the Western Forestry Center, a non-profit educational institution which would include a forestry museum in Washington Park. With financial support from the timber industry, the educational community and many others, the museum and auditorium building (Cheatham Hall) opened on June 5, 1971. A land donation in 1978 gave us the Magness Memorial Tree Farm as our demonstration forest. Miller Hall was added in 1980, and with board support for a more international focus the name was changed to the World Forestry Center in 1986. The addition of Merlo Hall to house the World Forest Institute in 1989 completed the 5.2 acre campus in Portland. The Johnson-Swanson Memorial Tree Farm was gifted to the World Forestry Center in 1997.

"Remembering the Old Forestry Building" can be viewed on the second floor of the Discovery Museum