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Originally published August 26, 2014 at 8:07 PM | Page modified August 27, 2014 at 7:23 AM

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Weyerhaeuser’s history is full of ups and downs

Company founded by German immigrant grew to global dimensions and then started shrinking.


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Jan. 3, 1900: Railroad magnate James J. Hill sells 900,000 acres of timber to Frederick Weyerhaeuser for $5.4 million, or $6 an acre. Weyerhaeuser, a German immigrant, forms Weyerhaeuser Timber with 15 partners in downtown Tacoma.

1903: Opens its first sawmill, in Everett.

1920s: Markets new products made from wood leftovers, including fluffy insulation and eventually Pres-to-Logs.

1931: Longview pulp and paper mill sustains the company through the Great Depression.

1934: F.E. Weyerhaeuser, Frederick’s son, becomes company president; Frederick’s grandsons Phil and F.K. would eventually succeed him.

1940s: New mills in the Northwest produce kraft paper, plywood, particle board, containerboard. Company establishes first tree farm and forestry-research department.

1959: Changes name to Weyerhaeuser Co. to reflect diversity of products.

1960s: Adds fine-paper division, adds new product lines; expands in Canada.

1963: Goes public on New York and Pacific stock exchanges.

1966: Great-grandson George Weyerhaeuser becomes company president.

1969: Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Co. begins with a California development.

1971: Moves headquarters to 500 acres in Federal Way.

1999: Buys MacMillan Bloedel for $2.8 billion, acquiring 6.9 million acres of owned and licensed timber and 72 facilities.

2000-2002: Buys TJ International for $874 million; buys 68,000 acres of timber in Uruguay; buys Willamette Industries for $8.1 billion, getting 1.7 million acres of U.S. timberlands and 106 facilities.

October 2004: Posts $594 million quarterly profit, highest in company’s 104-year history.

2005-2007: Sells five softwood mills in British Columbia, 3.8 million acres of timberlands in Canada. Plans spinoff of fine-paper division in $3.3 billion stock deal; closes five box plants, three plywood facilities and a dozen other manufacturing plants; sells all 16 building-materials distribution centers in Canada, 10 in U.S.

2008: Daniel Fulton named president and CEO; closes several Canadian mills and sells timber-harvesting rights to West Fraser Timber; sells 114 container board, packaging and recycling operations to International Paper for $6 billion; sells off Australian operations; announces 1,500 corporate employees will be laid off.

2009: Closes sawmill and Pacific Veneer mill in Aberdeen, eliminating 221 jobs. Announces intent to convert company to a real-estate investment trust (REIT) structure in 2010.

2011: Sells Northwest Hardwoods, which had 1,000 employees, and Westwood Shipping Lines, which has a fleet of seven ships.

2013: Doyle Simons named CEO; sells residential real-estate unit, which includes Quadrant and four other brands, to Tri Pointe Homes of Irvine, Calif.

2014: Announces plan to move headquarters to Seattle’s Pioneer Square in 2016.

Research by Gene Balk; Sources: Weyerhaeuser; Historylink.org; Seattle Times archives



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