Russell — Industries

Extracted from "History of the Connecticut Valley in Massachusetts, Volume II," by Louis H. Everts, 1879.

      Agawam River, which flows through Russell, furnishes admirable water-power at this point, but it is utilized by only two manufacturing establishments, which are, however, models of their kind, and enterprises, moreover, of considerable magnitude. One of these is the Jessup & Laflin Paper Company, whose mills are located two miles southeast of the village of Russell, at Salmon Falls. The buildings, which are very extensive, are constructed of brick, and appointed with the most valuable and improved machinery required in the making of fine paper, to the production of which these mills are devoted. A capital of upward of $250,000 is invested in the enterprise, and paper to the value of about $175,000 is produced annually, About 100 men and women are employed, and these are for the most part provided with homes in a large boardinghouse erected by the company near the mills.
      The Chapin and Gould paper-mills are located about two miles northwest of Russell village, and are likewise engaged in the manufacture of fine paper. About 100 persons are employed, and the daily yield of paper is about 4500 pounds. The firm was organized in April, 1858, and began operations in a mill erected upon the present location in that year. This mill was destroyed by fire in 1870, and at once replaced by the present mills, of much larger capacity than the first.
      The other manufactures of the town are railway-ties and lumber, but those industries are limited in yield. There are about seventy-five farms in the town, but the agricultural products are all consumed at home.
      The value of manufactures in 1875, according to State reports, was $176,600, and of agricultural products, $34,248. The total valuation of the town in 1878 was $398,652, of which $283,041 was in real estate. The total tax—State, county, and town—was $4185.85, or at a rate of .0105. The debt of the town, March 1, 1878, was $7510.

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