Lafayette Paper Company

    As the manufacturing exodus continues in the Hudson Valley, so goes the places where things were made. One of the last paper mills to operate in the Hudson Valley, located in Orange County, may be demolished. Most recently known as the Lafayette Paper Company, this site was known in previous incarnations as Cornwall Paper, Rondout Paper, and possibly Storm King Paper as well. The first structures were probably built here in the 1840s or 1850s. The original mill buildings have since disappeared or have been cannibalized into one large factory encompassing many different eras. The No. 1 Mill was removed a long time ago, but the steam engine, and twin coal boilers that provided steam to the engine, survive inside the original stone and brick walls under a newer cover of corrugated metal roofing that covers what were once separate buildings.

In November of 2005 I was invited to tour the decommissioned paper factory. At present, the largely vacated complex is partly used for storage, and a company dwelling is retained as an office. The former paper company truck garage is still in active use while under different ownership. Although the mill closed in 1997, machinery was not removed until November 2004. Thus the days of paper production at Lafayette are over, and the present owner is preparing plans that may bring about demolition of all mill buildings and some of the company dwellings - perhaps one or two of the former homes will remain standing. One would hope that the significance of one of the very last surviving Hudson Valley paper mills below Albany would be cause for preservation, at least of the oldest part o f the complex including the boiler room and steam engine. Of course, the preservationist would prefer retention of the entire factory, but at the very least, a monument or two could surely remain. At Piermont, in Rockland County, part of the steam engine including the flywheel survives on a "village green" surrounded by condominiums and shops. At Camillus, near Syracuse in central New York, a steam engine was relocated to the local historical society as its former home, a typewriter factory, was demolished.

UPDATE: Thanks to former plant employee Andy Sanchez, the mill's  ca. 1910, 150 horsepower, Nagle-Corliss Steam Engine was removed in December 2006 and will be preserved.
The Connecticut Antique Machinery Association (CAMA) acquired the steam engine and will display it at their Industrial Hall in Kent, Connecticut. For more infomration, visit the CAMA Website.

UPDATE JANUARY 6, 2011: The former Lafayette Paper mill is no longer abandoned. Center Line Studios, a theatrical set construction company, moved into the building in the latter part of 2011.

View of the factory from a company dwelling.

Aerial view of the mill complex. North at right.


Plan from ca. 1940s appraisal, showing Office (bottom center, in pink); 
Mill No. 1, Raw stock paper warehouse and Mill. No. 2 (center);
Machine shop and Raw stock paper warehouse (right);
Mill No. 3 (top, right of center). North at top.

A view of the "Chapel," the home of the company priest.

Interior view of the "Chapel."


Office sign.

Lafayette Paper Company  interior photos:
Lafayette Paper - Page 2


Yaz’ Hudson Valley Ruins 
and Abandoned Buildings, etc.

Yaz’ Hudson Valley Ruins and Abandoned Buildings, etc.

E-mail Rob Yasinsac

This page copyright © 2005 by Robert J.Yasinsac. 
Reproduction of these photos without the permission of Robert Yasinsac is prohibited.