Saturday, February 14, 2015

Crumpled Paper Company

From Heidi Waugaman-Page:

While on furlough in the summer of 2012 I landed a freelance design job for a small newspaper in Chester, Vermont. Every day I would drive by many factories, train stations and other buildings being consumed by nature and vandals in the run-down city of Bellows Falls. The town had obviously been a hub at one time with beautiful, large Victorians peeking through the trees. Today Bellow Falls has a drug and crime problem, so I didn't feel as brave as usual exploring by myself. So one weekend my husband and I took a drive up to start hitting some of the areas I had driven by while road exploring.

The Robertson Paper Company was my first stop. I explored around the building and took some outside shots before moving onto other buildings in the town. It looked pretty dangerous so I didn't attempt to go inside. There was a part of the building that looked like maybe homeless people were squatting in because there were some patio chairs out on part of the roof. So we decided to leave after that.

This part of the story ends here.

Bring it forward to fall 2014. My artist/photographer friend, Rick, and I had been talking about going on an adventure. I had been talking about getting back to Bellows Falls so he could check out all the great rust and decay of this worn-out city. We headed out on the coldest day and thought we would have enough time to hit many of the sites. Little did we know that we would spend the whole day just at the Robertson Paper Company Mill.

We arrived, parked and started exploring. Rick suggested that we get inside if possible. Then he noticed a woman looking out a window. We both figured it was homeless people in there. Then the door opened and a woman asked us not to park in front of the loading dock, due to deliveries. Rick and I looked at each other in disbelief that anyone would be delivering anything to an abandoned mill. I apologized and said we loved their building.

Her company was Robertson Printing Co. They had slowly lost more and more printing jobs overseas. They were only printing tissue paper for specific brands through the holidays. The town bought their property and because it was too expensive to move their equipment, so they were walking away.

I have learned to take chances, so I asked if there would be any way that we could come in to take pictures. The woman welcomed us to come in and explore but first gave us a stern WARNING: "Be careful, because the place is collapsing, and if you get hurt, you broke in and we don't know you." We were so thankful and giddy with excitement. She asked us to just check back in before we left so that they had a body count as to who was in the building and who left.

This is just a small taste of all the great finds we discovered. Enjoy.


  1. very cool dave, i want to go. great job., Dave

  2. Glad you enjoyed the post from my friend Heidi. I want to go there, too!