Book about mill on sale Thursday

Published 12:27 pm Wednesday, November 17, 2010

FRANKLIN—Peter Vick enjoyed reading the new book about Franklin’s defunct paper mill.

“I read most of it,” said Vick, who worked in the Woodlands Division for Union Camp before retiring on his 61st birthday on Dec. 31, 1992, after 38 years with the mill.

“It tells you who started it,” the Courtland man said. “I really enjoyed the history of it.”

International Paper, which eliminated 1,100 jobs when it closed the mill earlier this year, last week gave copies of the book, entitled “The Mill: The Franklin Mill from Camp to International Paper,” to its former employees.

During the Franklin-Southampton Area Chamber of Commerce Community Business Expo on Thursday, Nov. 18, the remaining copies of the book will go on sale for the first time for $10 each.

“I think anybody who has lived in the community would enjoy it,” said Teresa Beale, executive director for the chamber, which will host the business fair from 3 to 7 p.m. at Paul D. Camp Community College Workforce Development Center.

“It really is the story of the mill and the effect it had on the entire community,” Beale said. “It’s a beautiful book.”

International Paper hired former Virginian-Pilot photographer John H. Sheally II and reporter Phyllis E. Speidell to put together the 281-page hardback. The book is printed on 80-pound smooth offset pages from the Franklin mill’s No. 5 paper machine.

The book features mostly color photos and interviews with various people who worked at the mill, Beale said. There also are some photographs of the town.

International Paper gave the Chamber the remaining books to sell as a fundraiser.

“We’re hoping for 500 to sell to the community,” Beale said. “They have generously donated them and we very much appreciate them giving them to us. They’ll make absolutely great gifts and will mean a lot to those who live here and moved away.”

Vick couldn’t agree more.

“I knew some of the loggers (in the book) from when I went there in 1955,” he said. “People can find out some things about the old Camp family and how Union Camp got started.”

Expo visitors will have a chance to enter a drawing to win a limited-edition Nintendo Wii donated by Walmart.