Forks Timber museum in Forks WA

Discover the fascinating history of the Forks – the town that lumber built – with a visit to the Forks Timber Museum!

You could be forgiven for thinking that Forks main claim to fame is its place in Stephenie Meyer’s popular Twilight book and movie series. In fact, these days that may even be true. Once upon a time, however, Forks, Washington was known as the “Timber Capital of the World.”

Though most of the first settlers to the area came to farm, there was one crop already standing around waiting to be harvested: wood! By the 1900’s, timber was on the upswing. A hurricane in 1921 added to the bonanza by felling nearly 20% of the forests surrounding the town.

Timber as an industry hit its peak in the 1970’s then began its slow decline. Governmental legislation saw mills close and forest-related jobs disappear. Between 1980 and 2001, the number of logging companies in the area dropped from 70 to just 14.

Forks weathered the resulting unemployment and diminished population. While there are still active logging companies in the area, Forks is now better known as gateway to Olympic National Forest. Or the home of Bella and Edward …

Visiting the Museum

Forks Timber Museum was built by the Forks High School Carpentry Class of 1989. It is located next to the Visitor Information Center. If you see a life-size carving of two loggers sawing a log, you’re at the right place.

The museum includes exhibits and artifacts going all the way back to the area’s native inhabitants, the Quileute. Displays at the museum include historical logging tools, photos of truly massive old-growth trees, Native American artifacts, and much more.

Be sure to check out the museum’s 300+ year-old canoe and the restored fire lookout. Don’t miss the nature trail behind museum, either. You’ll learn all about Forks’ pioneer days, logging history, and more. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of the museum attendant, either. You may be surprised at how much their knowledge adds to your visit!

Forks Timber Museum

1421 S Forks Avenue, Forks, WA

Open May – September: 10am to 5pm, Monday through Saturday | 11am to 4pm on Sundays
October – April: Open 10am to 4pm, Monday through Saturday | 11am to 4pm on Sundays

Visit the museum website for more information. You can also visit the museum on Facebook.

Forks WA Lodging

Discover the true beauty of the Pacific Northwest with Forks WA lodging near Olympic National Park. Manitou Lodge offers the best in Washington coast lodging. Choose from our lodge guest rooms, cottage rooms, rustic cabins, or even camping on our ten acres of coastal rainforest. Our convenient location has us just 3 miles from Rialto Beach, 15 minutes west of Forks, and you can hear the Sol Duc river in the distance. Book your stay at Manitou Lodge today!