The Missisquoi paper mill had been making paper in Sheldon Springs, Vt., for 46 years when Jack Delano took these photos of its operations in September 1941.
Delano was a photographer for the U.S. government for the Farm Security Administration, a New Deal program that later evolved into the Office of War Information. Photographers for the FSA/OWI took iconic photos of America during the Great Depression and World War II. Other well-known photographers for the agency included Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange and Gordon Parks. Delano later settled in Puerto Rico, where he composed music.
Delano’s caption for the photo above reads, “One of the last stages in making paper at the Missisquoi Corporation paper mill in Sheldon Springs, Vermont. One of the machines that grinds wood into pulp.”
A Vermont Paper Mill in Pictures
Sheldon Springs is an unincorporated village in Franklin County. It lies along the Missisquoi River, which is a tributary of Lake Champlain. Pictured above is 0ne of the rolling machines in the mill.
The wood pile outside the mill. The Great New England Hurricane of 1938 had toppled millions of trees. It then took years for the federal government to clean up all the blowdowns. Paper companies like Missisquoi bought up many of the logs.
Here’s the blacksmith shop.
Delano’s caption for the photo above reads, “Paper pulp being churned in a large vat at the Mississquoi Corporation.”
Above, a photo of a section of a large rolling paper machine at the mill.
Above, a mill worker stirs pulp in a huge vat.
Above, paper wrapped up and ready for shipping.
To see more photos of the Missisquoi Corp. paper mill from the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Collection, click here.
This story last updated in 2022.