I could go on into the history of this paper mill but wanted to talk about the history of my forefathers and thereafter. Both my grandparents worked in the Otis Paper Mill or the old International Paper Mill in Jay, Maine. One of my grandfathers worked there for almost 50 years and my own father worked in this mill for 43 years. I worked in this mill as an electrical and instrument tech for 20 years until it closed in 2008.
The community was built upon this industry. The Northern territory or Northern Division was started because of the abundance of tree’s in this state. The paper mills owned and controlled the woodland division and this was what brought people from all over the world to work here. The Italians were the masons and built all the structures around here. They also built building’s for the woolen mills too. This part of the country was an industrial giant back in the day. Some of the paper mills in this area are still in operation but not running like the booming days from like from the 40’s to 80’s. All industrial facilities are struggling with today’s market prices. Fuel cost has increased and the good ole dollar just doesn’t have much strength anymore in the USA.
My forefathers worked hard for a living to build this community. I have seen good days and bad times in this region. The local shoe shops have all gone away and everyone is struggling to find jobs just like any other part of this country. Small stores have closed shops because of larger compaines. I can understand why because only the bigger companies can survive in today’s industry. We are becoming a poor country- I will not get into any political debate why, but think our country has been sold out to foreign industries with a better dollar value.
It was sad to see the the Otis Mill close when it did, I have a lot of memories and visions of my forefathers walking the same steps I took. It is only a place of historic events for some writers to talk about. I am the history of this paper mill and will always remember that place.