Sprawling between Main Street and the wind-raked ocean bluffs, the Georgia Pacific lumber mill was Fort Bragg’s economic center for generations until it closed in 2002. Not only was the framework of the community shaped and built by the Mill, but the very materials used to build the plant were taken from the fabric of the land surrounding the mill. The Pacific Northwest is one of the only habitats on the planet for Redwood trees and the great Sequoias. The North Coast essentially built San Francisco twice; once before and once after the 1906 Earthquake and the Great Fire.
The mill, originally founded in 1885 as the Union Lumber Company, once employed 2,000 people. It was severely damaged by the earthquake in 1906 but it was rebuilt. Later, it was extensively renovated in the late 1930’s. In the decades from 1940 to 1960 it produced 500,000 board feet per day utilizing two shifts. In 1972, Georgia-Pacific Corporation took over the business. The mill closed in 2002 after more than 100 years of service. The wood that made up the mill has been removed and is now available for new projects.