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Powering Pejepscot Paper Co.

Text by Candace Kanes

Images from the Maine Historical Society

The Brunswick Telegraph reported on April 27, 1893, that its representative visited the site of the "new Pejepscot Pulp and Paper mill at Simpson's Rips and found it a scene of activity in striking contrast with the quietness prevailing there but a short time ago."

The quietness at Pejepscot quickly diminished as two steam drills, some seventy workers, a dozen horses, and teams of oxen worked to clear the area, build a coffer dam, and create the Pejepscot Dam to power a new paper company owned by F.C. Whitehouse of Topsham.

Also at the scene, according to the newspaper account, were two boarding houses -- one for French workers, the other for Anglo-American workers, and offices and blacksmith, carpenter, and tool shops.

The mill was completed in 1896, when Whitehouse gave the new mill, along with existing ones in Lisbon and farther south on the Androscoggin in Topsham, the name Pejepscot Paper Co. The new mill at Pejepscot employed some 180 men in 1898. It was powered by the 8,500 horsepower hydro dam and a 700-horsepower steam engine.