Skip to main content

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

  • Share:
  • Comments
  • Print

Weyerhaeuser’s history is full of ups and downs

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


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;; Seattle Times archives

Four weeks for 99 cents of unlimited digital access to The Seattle Times. Try it now!

Also in Business & Technology

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

 Subscribe today!

Subscribe today!

99¢ for four weeks of unlimited digital access.



The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►