In partnership with the Maine Memory Network Maine Memory Network

It was like a family in the mill

It was like a family in the mill

A story by Arnold R. Couture from 1970s-2017

Arnold Couture talks about the changes he saw while working for International Paper for 26 years as an electrician at the Otis Mill.

I'm a third generation paper mill worker, my grandfather came from Canada and my father worked there after he got out of the service. They used to float logs down the river to the mill.

I saw a lot of changes at International Paper during my 26 years as an electrician for them. I worked in the computer industry in Massachusetts for 10 years, but got homesick and came back to Jay to work at the Otis Mill until the mill shut down. It was like a family working in the mill, we'd all get together either at work or after work. It was a sad day when the mill closed.

The paper industry has evolved. We're saving on one end, the impact on the environment is no where near what it used to be, and there's little niches left in the paper industry, but quite a bit different.