A time line of Georgia-Pacific Corp.’s Central Research Division

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G-P lab site waits for buyer

G-P lab site waits for buyer

Georgia-Pacific Corp.’s Central Research Division sits on a prominent property above its mill in Camas. The company recently received approval to subdivide the lab tract so it would be easier to sell. Here is a history of the property:

1883 — Portland businessman Henry Pittock starts construction of the Camas mill, owned and operated by the Columbia River Paper Co.

1938 — The mill’s second owner and operator, San Francisco-based Crown Zellerbach Corp., constructs a modern research laboratory near the mill at Northeast Sixth Avenue and Adams Street.

1952-1955 — Crown Zellerbach dedicates two new laboratory buildings off Northeast Seventh Avenue, a site designated to serve all West Coast mill and forestry divisions of the giant company.

1960-1964 — The research lab brings on its first woman scientist, Silvia Cabella. Meanwhile, lab research broadens to focus on pollution controls for the mill.

1970 — Camas researchers develop and patent a process to convert ethylene gas into synthetic wood pulp which can be made into paper.

1976-1979 — Research staff swells to 180, including 80 scientists (34 with doctorate degrees). A worldwide oil crisis causes researchers to search for new ways for the mill to generate its own energy.

1991 — James River Corp., the mill’s third owner, plants 130 acres of high-yield hybrid cottonwood trees near Woodland that Camas researchers had developed for optimal pulp production.

1997 — James River shuts down the research lab and disperses its staff of 110 employees as the company merges with the Fort Howard Corp. of Green Bay, Wis.

2000 — Georgia-Pacific Corp., now a subsidiary of Koch Industries Inc., purchases the mill and lab property.

2009 — Georgia-Pacific places the mostly vacant laboratory site on the market for $5.25 million.