Weed Lumber Town Museum

The Weed Lumber Town Museum is located in the Northern California town of Weed.  It is on Interstate 5 about 60 miles south of the Oregon border.  It is named after Abner Weed who moved there in the 1890s from Truckee, California where he was involved in the lumber industry.  He came to the location between Black Butte and Mt. Shasta where he noticed that there was plenty of wind enabling freshly cut lumber to dry quickly.  This was critical at the time since kiln drying was not an option.  Abner Weed began what became one of the largest lumber mills in the western United States.  It is most famous for being the Long-Bell Lumber Company.

img_0235.jpg
Giant chain saws and mill blades. Some of these saws still work. Anybody know how to start and run them?

The town of Weed is unique in that it began as a ‘company town’ with all the infrastructure and people working directly for, or in support of the Long-Bell mill.

Main Exh
This room has photos from the early days of the mill (1920s) and some of the peculiar equipment used in the business part of the operation.

The museum is located in the old city jail and courthouse building from the 1940s and 1950s.  It houses artifacts and ephemera spanning many decades of the town and the mill.

1940s Jail Cell
This is an original jail cell that became part of the courthouse when the addition was built in 1950. Notice the walls are made of riveted steel as well as the doors.

The museum is comprised of two paid staff and several local volunteers.  There is a board who oversee the operation of the institution and its finances.  The building is owned and maintained by the City of Weed who also provide a portion of the state Transient Occupancy Tax collected by the county to help pay for the museum.  Weed Lumber Town Museum also has an endowment that was established by one of the founders.  The endowment provides the museum with 10% of the annually accrued interest from the capital and the board my vote for more on per case basis.

The Courthouse Main Hall
This looks down the hall of the old jail and courthouse and peeks into the only museum specific room in the facility. It houses vehicles and big tools.

The Weed Lumber Town Museum has no collections policy or de-accessioning policy.  They have no published mission statement or a strategic plan.  There is no collection management and as the aging staff move away from hands on work with the museum it is quite possible that it will disappear in the not too distant future.  This will be a shame.  There is always hope that more community members will take a more active interest and role thereby helping the Weed Lumber Town Museum survive and grow.

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