The Forest Heritage Center Museum is located in Beavers Bend State Park (north of Broken Bow, Oklahoma). Operated by the Forest Heritage Center Advisory Board and Oklahoma Forestry Services, the museum houses historical documents, antique forestry tools, wood art, homestead memorabilia, and a research library filled with books, periodicals, and other materials pertaining to forestry.
Visitors to the museum will view 14 large dioramas (painted by Harry Rossoll of Atlanta, Georgia, the artist who created Smokey Bear) that cover Prehistoric Forests, Caddo Indians, Papermaking in the South, 1940's Lumbering, and Forest Appreciation. Each diorama is accompanied by a taped narration. Other exhibits include the Forest Wood Art Gallery, chainsaw carvings, a 100 year old log cabin from the Kiamichi Mountains, and traditional woodworking tools dating from the earliest tools used in the harvesting of timber from the mountains.
In April 2003, a new exhibit was unveiled at the Forest Heritage Center honoring the thousands of wildland firefighters that put their lives on the line each year. An 8-foot bronze sculpture honors Jim Burnett, the first forest firefighter from Oklahoma to lose his life in the line of duty and all people who risk their lives fighting wildland fires each year.
In June of that same year the museum dedicated the "People of the Forest" exhibit that presents the early years of the forest industry in Oklahoma with the coming of the Dierks family, as well as the story of the Traveling Timber Towns and the accomplishments of the Civilian Conservation Corps in the area. The exhibit features restored photographs from the Center's extensive collection and focuses on the people who helped lay the foundation for the industry in Oklahoma.
For those wishing to learn more about Oklahoma's forests and forest industry, the staff of the Forest Heritage Center Museum can arrange educational programs or tours for any age group by appointment. There are specific programs tailored for school classes.
The Forest Heritage Center comes equipped with one meeting room that has a stage, audio-visual center, and seating for 60. There are additional meeting rooms (one of which can seat 150 theater style). Located near park cabins, the conference center is well-suited for sales meetings, seminars, management retreats, and workshops.
No Admission Charge
Open 365 days a year from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
(580) 494-6497 (office)
(405) 249-9612 (cell)
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