Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Newton Falls Revisited

Newton  Falls in 2003
Readers of Gem of the Adirondacks learned of the bleak fortunes of the little Adirondack community of Newton Falls. The hamlet was built around a paper mill, and the mill brought prosperity for nearly 100 years. But beginning in the eighties the mill went through a series of wrenching shutdowns, layoffs, and changes in ownership. Ultimately the mill, which once had employed 500, was shuttered. When my book went to press in 2005, the mill had been closed for five years, there was little hope it would ever reopen, the local economy was in shambles, and Newton Falls was beginning to look like a ghost town.
The story has taken a happier turn however, and it is one I could not have imagined following the former decline. In 2007 the mill reopened under visionary leadership, 100 jobs returned to the community, and the operation has since become a model for economically and environmentally sustainable paper making. This time the story is not mine to tell, and I encourage you to visit the Newton Falls Fine Paper website to read it in the words of the people who made this remarkable rebirth possible.

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