Saturday, January 5, 2013

Hammermill Paper Company in Erie, PA

The Hammermill Bond, the monthly newsletter of the Hammermill Paper Company, June 1941
Hammermill Paper Company had a long history on the shore of Lake Erie. The company, founded by the Behrend Family in 1898, was purchased by International Paper in 1984. 

If you have an old piece of writing paper, hold it up to a light. Chances are pretty good that it will have the Hammermill watermark. The workers made high quality paper products.

It seemed like there was a never-ending parade of log trucks making a beeline on the lower east side to Hammermill. I was certain that one of those drivers was going to slam on his brakes to avoid hitting a child or a dog, sending a giant log through my windshield. My fears were unfounded. I don't think I've seen a log truck since IP shut down the Mill in 2002. The scene above was reduced to rubble a short time later. Such was the fate of many old Erie factories.

Remember the hot, hazy summer days when the stench of the pulp hung over the lower east side? That's one odor that I do not miss. (As bad as it was, it was never as strong as the Willamette factory in Johnsonburg, PA.)

The Behrend family was quite generous to the Erie community and they left a lasting legacy. The Hammermill Paper Company Collection is housed at the John M. Lilley Library at Penn State Erie, the Behrend Campus. Read the entire June 1941 issue from the Behrend Collection here.

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