Centrally located between the headwaters of both the Androscoggin and Kennebec Rivers, Rangeley has long been one of Maine's logging centers. Native Americans used the forest of spruce, balsam fir, beech, birch, and poplar for their homes, canoes, foods, and medicines.
Timber rights attracted the first white settlers to the area in 1794, and 1833 saw the beginning of the first woods industry shingle mill. Several decades later, booms of logs and, later, pulp were towed across Rangeley's lakes and driven down her rivers.
Rangeley's forests were home to some of the last stands of virgin spruce. This rich heritage, combined with active logging operations, makes Rangeley an ideal location for a museum dedicated to western Maine's timber heritage.