The Papermill

There was a time when almost every town in America had one: the local plant.  These days, manufacturing of all sizes is disappearing from the American landscape, taking jobs and economic growth overseas - and leaving communities behind to clean up the mess.  That is the story of this mill.

I first discovered this mill during its final years of operation.  It was a proud smoke-and-steam-belching plant that drove the local economy and harkened back to the grand old days of American manufacturing might.  A few years later it was a sad neglected mess.  The transition here - as in many similar towns - seemed to happen practically overnight.  The manufacturer's bankruptcy and subsequent abandonment of the property left an economic void complicated by two superfund sites.  A small town was left wondering what to do.

Still, not one to let a good abandonment go to waste, I decided to spend the winter of 2007/2008 making a video documentary of the the current state of this mill.  I spent the previous year finishing my Bethlehem Steel movie Almost Gone, and decided I would add an element to this one that I wanted so badly to have in Almost Gone: time-lapse!  I knew nothing about doing it, but this would be a fine place to learn.  Although making the video was my primary goal, I think I snapped a couple nice pics along the way.  Enjoy!

The Papermill
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