Collins Pine Museum
The Collins Pine Museum was opened to the public in May of 2007. There is no admission fee and the museum is open from mid-May until mid-October, Wednesday through Saturday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
The building was constructed to look like the sawmill that was operated by Collins Pine Company in Chester from 1943 to 2001, after which it was replaced by a new sawmill. The post and beam construction inside provides an aesthetic space where the different species of wood grown in this area are featured.
The mission of the Collins Pine Museum is to develop exhibits on lumbering, forestry and principles of sustainability. The building contains exhibits on lumber grades, forest stands, old photos and implements. Information is displayed on branch and cone identification, saw milling, lumber drying, power co-generation, sustainability and on how forest operations fit into the carbon cycle.
There is a small theater room set up so that when people enter, a documentary starts playing on sustainable forestry. A screen in the main part of the building can be activated to show a video of the sawmill operation. There is an interactive panel on wood species identification, a push-button audio unit with workers voices and a bookcase with books on local lumber companies, forestry, logging and environmental History. An outdoor display of trucks and equipment that was used by Collins in the 1940s, 50s and 60s is on site. Finally, a 400-year-old Sugar Pine tree cross section is displayed with dates in American history going back to the Jamestown colony (1607).