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Eastern's Closing

This Exhibit Contains 10 Items
1
An opinion on Eastern's closing, Brewer, ca. 2004

An opinion on Eastern's closing, Brewer, ca. 2004

Item 75220 info
Maine Folklife Center, Univ. of Maine

Phyllis Beaulieu started working for Eastern in 1949 and retired in 1988. She had worked under Bruce Hamilton in her later years at the mill and remembers him fondly.

She, however, places the sole blame for the mill closing on Joe Torras, the owner when it closed.

Listen to Phyllis talk about her thoughts regarding the mill’s closure.


2
Changes at Eastern, Brewer, ca. 1989

Changes at Eastern, Brewer, ca. 1989

Item 75475 info
Maine Folklife Center, Univ. of Maine

Joe Shorette began working for Eastern in 1976 as a general laborer. By the time the mill had closed, he worked in the power plant.

He recalls the layoffs before the closure and the uncertainty the remaining employees felt.

Shorette believes that the mill closed because of changes owner Joe Torras made after he purchased the mill. His opinions were echoed by other employees such as Clarence Moderey, who started working for Eastern only a few years before Shorette.

Listen to Joe Shorette talk about these changes.


3
Ann Robinson's thoughts on the closing of Eastern, Brewer, ca. 2004

Ann Robinson's thoughts on the closing of Eastern, Brewer, ca. 2004

Item 75281 info
Maine Folklife Center, Univ. of Maine

Ann Robinson began working for Eastern in 1980. She knew Bruce Hamilton and did not think Joe Torras was a bad man but that he was misguided.

Robinson states that Torras listened to some bad advice and attempted to fix the mistake too late.

Listen to Ann Robinson talk about the negative change in Eastern's products after Torras took over.


4
Sensing Eastern's closure was coming, Brewer, ca. 2004

Sensing Eastern's closure was coming, Brewer, ca. 2004

Item 75472 info
Maine Folklife Center, Univ. of Maine

Keith and Wendy Durrah both worked for Eastern. Keith started in 1984 and worked in the finishing department and Wendy stated in 1988 in the human resources department.

The couple agrees that they saw the closing coming. They do not blame owner Joe Torras, but believe that the mill was just not making enough money to keep running.

Listen to Keith and Wendy Durrah talk about the closing of Eastern:


5
The expenses of a paper mill, Brewer, ca. 2004

The expenses of a paper mill, Brewer, ca. 2004

Item 75213 info
Maine Folklife Center, Univ. of Maine

The Durrahs are not alone in believing that money was the problem that caused the mill to close.

Richard Smith also recalls the financial issues of Eastern. Smith was an engineer for Eastern and had retired before the mill closed.

Smith states that the high operating costs lead to mill's closure.

Listen to Richard Smith discuss why he thinks the mill closed in his interview with Pauleena MacDougall:


6
Eastern running out of money, Brewer, ca. 2004

Eastern running out of money, Brewer, ca. 2004

Item 75473 info
Maine Folklife Center, Univ. of Maine

Dennis Townsend started working for Eastern in 1977 at the age of 18 as a general laborer in the finishing department.

By the time the mill had closed Dennis had moved into the power plant.

He does not singularly blame poor decision-making, Joe Torras, or the employees for the closure, but states it was a combination of reasons.

Townsend knew that the closing of Eastern was inevitable when money starting running out.

Listen to Dennis Townsend speak about the closing:


7
What Eastern contributed to the community and employees, Brewer, ca. 1978-2004

What Eastern contributed to the community and employees, Brewer, ca. 1978-2004

Item 75468 info
Maine Folklife Center, Univ. of Maine

Not only did employees benefit from Eastern Fine Paper, but the city of Brewer did as well.

Mike Woodbury, who had worked for Eastern since 1978, talks about Eastern and the outside community as well how the closure affected the sense of family shared between employees.


8
Finding new work after Eastern closed, Brewer, ca. 2004

Finding new work after Eastern closed, Brewer, ca. 2004

Item 75471 info
Maine Folklife Center, Univ. of Maine

Lois Andrews started working in the mill in 1956 and put in 43 years of service. Her son also worked in the mill.

Andrews retired before the mill closed in 2004 but its closure still affected her son.

Listen to Lois Andrews explain how her son was affected by the closing of Eastern Fine:


9
Remaining Connected, Brewer, ca. 2004-2005

Remaining Connected, Brewer, ca. 2004-2005

Item 75278 info
Maine Folklife Center, Univ. of Maine

A sense of family had developed between the employees of Eastern Fine Paper and the mill's closure had destroyed the family.

Manly DeBeck talks about how he maintains connections with the people he used to work with.


10
Life after Eastern, Brewer, ca. 2004

Life after Eastern, Brewer, ca. 2004

Item 75490 info
Maine Folklife Center, Univ. of Maine

Although Eastern closed its doors, life continues for former employees. Many were given training for new jobs.

Ronald Kearns began working for Eastern Fine when he was 19 in 1975. He began working in the finishing department but had worked his way up into the machine room by the time Eastern closed.

Kearns talks about life after Eastern.


This Exhibit Contains 10 Items