Over 100 Years of Papermaking Tradition
Potsdam Specialty Paper Inc is located in St. Lawrence County, New York, just north of the village of Potsdam.
The paper mill was built in 1892 by the Racquette River Paper Company with George W. Sisson as its first President. The mill began with pulpwood grinders and one paper machine. The mill added a second paper machine and a sulfite pulp mill the following year and was producing newsprint and sulfite manila papers. In 1901, the entire capital stock of the Racquette River Paper Company was taken over by Sisson. The company soon began to modernize and expand operations becoming a 3-machine mill while also adding converting operations producing tabulating card stock, printed and embossed wrapping, bag and wet strength papers. The Racquette River Paper Company was well-known as being an innovative leader in the paper industry.
The Sisson family owned and operated the mill until 1955 when it was sold to Orchard Paper Company, a major customer of the Racquette River Paper Company, engaged in gift wrap and bag converting. The Orchard Paper Company operated the mill briefly for two years. In 1957, the mill was purchased by Nekoosa-Edwards Paper Company while Orchard Paper Company retained the converting plant on-site which it operated until 1962.
Under Nekoosa-Edwards ownership, the mill produced business papers, similar to their grades produced in Wisconsin, primarily for the eastern U.S. market. Additionally, a Yankee paper machine which produced MG papers was relocated to Potsdam from one of their other mills. Nekoosa-Edwards operated the mill for nearly 20 years and made many improvements in the mill including the buildings, infrastructure and chemical additive systems. Nekoosa-Edwards eventually moved all production to other facilities and the mill was idled in 1974.
In 1977, a group of private investors formed the Potsdam Paper Corporation and operated the mill producing grades similar to those that had been produced by Nekoosa-Edwards while developing a number of specialty printing and converting grades.
The mill was acquired in 1984 by the Little Rapids Corporation (LRC). Under LRC ownership, the MF machine was rebuilt to enable the production of wet creped papers. The machine was subsequently further modified to allow the production of latex-saturated papers.
The Mead Corporation purchased the mill in 1998 and invested heavily in upgrading the mill. In addition to upgrading the paper machine to enable the production of overlay papers for the laminate flooring and decorative market, a complete modernization of the infrastructure, delivery systems and process controls ensued. As part of the Specialty Paper Division, the mill focused its efforts and resources toward new business development. These efforts resulted in a diversification of the mill’s portfolio to include latex-saturated, saturating and coating base, medical, and industrial specialty papers.
In 2008, a group of investors with global sales and marketing experience in specialty papers was formed and purchased the Potsdam mill establishing Potsdam Specialty Paper Inc. (PSPI). PSPI is part of a portfolio of global businesses that focus on niche products and markets in the value-added paper and coatings distribution business. The mill has achieved numerous quality and specification performance certifications, moreover it is most proud of its long standing and comprehensive partnerships with its global customer base, and the dedication and commitment of its 80 associate team.
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