Preserving our heritage, one story at a time.
MILLINOCKET HISTORICAL SOCIETY
History of Great Northern Paper Company
The museum includes a large collection of GNP's history. This online exhibit below is a timeline of the company's story.
1830 -- Thomas Fowler set up a farm on the West branch at the site of the Millinocket mill.
1893 -- Bangor & Aroostook Railroad is complete as far as Houlton.
1898 – 1900 1,500 Italian immigrants were brought to the area to build the Millinocket mill.
1899—The Madison Mill produces the first paper produce for Great Northern Paper.
1899 --Great Northern Paper incorporated and construction begins for the mill and the town.
1900 – First roll of newsprint came off the machines in the Millinocket mill.
1900-- Town’s population reaches 2,000.
1901 – Town of Millinocket was incorporated.
1902 -- First Labor Union at GNP is organized.
1906 – Construction of East Millinocket mill.
1907 – East Millinocket mill opens.
1911 – Millinocket’s population reaches 5,000 and East Millinocket is nearly 1,000.
1927 – Garret Schenck (founder of GNP) dies
1942 – GNP’s timberland holdings peak at just over 2 million acres.
1954—A new steam plant was built and started up
1955—The Madison Mill is sold to Economy Corporation.
1960’s into the 70s—GNP employment peaks at about 4,400 people.
1961—GNP Hotel is torn down.
1961 – A large pipeline was installed between Millinocket and East Millinocket to carry slush sulfite pulp for paper machine operation at the East mill at a cost of approximately 2 Million.
1964—Civil Rights Act signed into law—Women started to work in the mill—doing men’s work on all shifts and getting equal pay.
1970 – GNP merges with Nekoosa-Edwards Paper Company to become Great Northern Nekoosa.
1971 – Log driving on the Penobscot River comes to an end and Golden Road construction begins.
1972 – A $50 million modernization of the Millinocket mill which included the installation of the No. 11 paper machine.
1978-- A majority of the workers at GNP strike for the first time.
1980—Tribal demands for traditional lands are resolved with the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act.
1986 – First round of layoffs begins: GNP announces plans to eliminate 1,200 to 1,400 workers.
1989 – Georgia Pacific purchases GNP in a hostile corporate takeover.
1991 – Georgia Pacific’s holdings sold to Bowater.
1999 – Innexcon purchases Bowater holdings and files bankruptcy in 2002.
2002—Hydro system sold to Brascan Corp. and renamed Great Northern Energy.
2003 – Brascan Corporation purchases Bowater holdings (operating under the name Katahdin Paper Company LLC) and files for bankruptcy the same year.
2003 – Brookfield Asset Management purchases Katahdin Paper Company
2008 – Millinocket mill closes permanently.
2010--Fraser Paper Co. renamed Twin Rivers Paper Co.
2011 – Cate Street Purchases Katahdin Paper Company holdings, renames holdings “Great Northern Paper” No longer managed by Twin River Paper Co.
2013 – Papermaking resumes in East Millinocket for 1 year, employing 250 people.
2013—Millinocket mill remains shut down and demolition of buildings is proceeding. Much equipment was removed in previous months.
2014 – East Millinocket mill closes permanently
2014 – Millinocket mill smokestacks are demolished.
2017 – Our Katahdin, a non-profit 501-c3 purchases Cate Street Capital holdings in Millinocket.