A new particular museum has been created in Arcadia. There, in the heart of Mainalo Mountain, at the den of Kolokotronis, the municipality of Falanthos was inspired and created the Forest History Museum of Mainalos. This is a modern museum that highlights, in addition to the forest history of the mountain, the first steps in industrial development of the country, which now constitute a memory for locals and for those wishing to visit an environmental education center.
The Forest History Museum is hosted at the premises of the old wood factory at Chrysovitsi, in the center of the impressive fir forest. The modern history of Mainalos forest starts with the establishmentof the forest service in the fledgling Greek state in 1836.
The Forestry of Gortyni, in Dimitsana, is one of the 32 initial forest stations in Greece. Vitina’s Forest school, founded in 1896 with the donation of a local nobleman named Triantafyllidis is one of the first schools to train qualified personnel, dealing with forest wealth. Nearly half a century later, in 1939, was operated the first state factory for wood operation at Chrysovitsi. That same year many similar factories were established in an effort to protect and enhance the public forests. The plant produced electricity, using a steam engine, supplying it also to Chrysovitsi.
Chrysovitsi was the only village of Peloponnese with electricity since 1940. In the other villages electricity arrived at least 25 years later. The factory continued its operation until the mid-1970 emplying a large number of workers.
It is worth noting that at used to live more than hundred families which at the next yearsmigrated to Tripoli and Athens. At Chrysovitsi are now living fewer than twenty people who are mostly seniors and retirees. In order to rescue and enhance the old plant, the Falanthos municipality created the Forest History Museum. In 2003, they claimed by the Ministry of Agriculture, the use of the premises of the old and abandoned factory in order to transform them into a museum. Then, Falanthos Municipality with the scientific support of the Cultural Foundation of Piraeus Bank Group and with funding secured from the development program THESEUS, the program Leader +, in addition to their own resources, converted the old factory into a “modern museum of forest history, unique in Greece.
The museum’s mechanical equipment, which was preserved and restored for this purpose, was revived in order to explain to the visitor the old factory’s operation. It also presents the entire spectrum of activities related to receiving, processing and utilization of wood by humans at the time of operation of sawmills. Furthermore, the local flora and fauna of Mainalos is and the life cycle of the forest are presented, showing the ecological importance of the forest and highlighting the role of the science of Forestry in the sustainable management of forests.
This alternative museum, which may well serve as a center and environmental education facility is located twenty minutes from Tripoli