Camp family member saddened by sawmill closing

Published 9:50 am Wednesday, April 8, 2009

To the Editor:

It was with great sadness that I heard of the closing of the sawmill at International Paper Co. The mill had been a part of the fabric of the town since my great-grandfather and his brothers bought the Neely Brothers out in the late 1800s. The sweet smell of pine that filled the air when they were operating the band saws, or opened the doors of the dry kiln will always be with me.

I had the privilege of working at the mill four summers in the ’70s on the “bull gang”, sheet finishing and any other job they chose to put me. The work was hard, the pay was good and I was able to work with some of the hardest working, honest people I have ever known. They taught me some valuable life lessons.

While the decision to close the sawmill has been made, I am sure it was not an easy one for IP to make, and I am sure they gave it every consideration. I am only sorry it had to be made. Franklin needs to know many of us outside the immediate community feel its pain, and we are praying for a speedy economic answer.

John M. Camp III