Sherman Sumbler, Jr. surveys old wood-burning logging engine #202 with "cabbage head" smokestack, 1987. Photo courtesy Southern Forest Heritage Museum
Southern Forest Heritage Museum:
History of Forestry and the Forest Industry in the South
This 57-acre museum -- representative of the many
sawmill towns that once flourished throughout the South -- offers a
unique opportunity to glimpse the golden age of lumbering and saw
milling. It contains rare equipment and buildings that date back to
the early 1900s. The museum was developed from a surviving sawmill
in Long Leaf, Louisiana, that once provided a livelihood for
hundreds of families from 1892 to 1969.
The commissary is one of the buildings remaining from
the once thriving company town. This store now serves as the museum
entrance and interpretive center. Other museum highlights are its
steam-powered sawmill and planer mill, the roundhouse, and a
belt-and-shaft driven machine shop. Two rare McGiffert log loaders
and a Clyde skidder are examples of early steam logging equipment.
Much of the plant's railway remains, as well as three steam
locomotives dating from 1913 to 1923.
The Southern Forest Heritage Museum & Research
Center was formed in October 1992 because of an unusual
circumstance -- an old sawmill that had been closed since 1969 was
simply left in place. Concerned individuals saw the opportunity to
turn the site into a not-for-profit museum, which could provide a
sense of awareness and pride about the culture and heritage of the
southern pine forest. [Southern pine refers to a group of pines
that are typically longleaf, shortleaf, slash and loblolly.]
Because of the superior quality of logs milled at Long Leaf, its
lumber was in demand for shipbuilding during World War II. Exhibit
cases and panels provide a timeline narrative of Long Leaf
Project documentation includes a 20-page historical
report and PC disk, museum brochures and newsletters, a video, 15
photographs, nine slides, local newspaper clippings, and a
Originally submitted by: John Cooksey, Representative (5th District).
The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.