The “Crossroads of Rockland History” podcast recently focused on the award-winning documentary Piermont’s Papermill: Stories from the Factory. Betsy Franco Feeney (Trustee) from the Piermont Historical Society (PHS) joined Clare Sheridan to discuss life in Piermont before the Condominiums.
In 1901, Martin R. Williams erected the first paper mill in Piermont. The railyards on the pier, built in 1840 by the Erie Railroad, provided transportation for supplies in and out of the village. Fresh water, needed to produce paper, was supplied from the nearby Sparkill Creek. The Piermont Paper Company began production in 1902, and for 18 years the plant produced cardboard. Its principal customer was the Robert Gair Company.
In 1920, Robert Gair purchased the mill. He had become a leader in the paper industry in Manhattan and Brooklyn after the Civil War. Gair’s discovery revolutionized modern society with cardboard boxes and paper fiber containers that replaced bulky wooden crates and barrels. Manufacturers saw the sides of boxes as valuable ad space to sell their brand.
You can listen to the podcast here.
Crossroads of Rockland History, a program of the Historical Society of Rockland County, airs on the third Monday of each month at 9:30 am, right after the morning show, on WRCR radio at www.WRCR.com. Join host Clare Sheridan as we explore, celebrate, and learn about our local history, with different topics and guest speakers every month.
The Historical Society of Rockland County is a nonprofit educational institution and principal repository for original documents and artifacts relating to Rockland County. Its headquarters are a four-acre site featuring a history museum and the 1832 Jacob Blauvelt House in New City, New York