Milton in Saratoga County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Rock City Falls
Erected 1999 by Town of Milton.
Location. 43° 3.784′ N, 73° 54.949′ W. Marker is in Milton, New York, in Saratoga County. Marker is on New York State Route 29 just from Rock City Road, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is by the entrance to Cottrell Paper Plant. Marker is in this post office area: Rock City Falls NY 12863, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. West Milton (approx. 1.9 miles away); North Milton (approx. 2 miles away); Milton Centre (approx. 2 miles away); First Town Meeting (approx. 2 miles away); a different marker also named West Milton (approx. 2˝ miles away); Milton Hill (approx. 2.7 miles away); Rose Hill Water Tower (approx. 3.3 miles away); Rowland's Hollow (approx. 3.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Milton.
Regarding Rock City Falls. George West, the “Paper
George West was a larger-than-life personality in Ballston Spa during the late 1800s. His mansion on the corner of Milton Avenue and Prospect Street was within walking distance of his Union Mill, Island Mill, Glen Mill, and Bag Factory. Up the river were his other mills, all producing manila paper to make his famous paper bags.
West purchased his first paper mill in Rock City Falls, and decided to manufacture paper bags at a time when most carrying bags were made from cotton. As demand for the bags steadily increased, he sought ways to dramatically increase his output. West, along with several other manufacturers, joined in a patent pool started by Francis Wolle, inventor of the first successful paper bag machine. The pool split the market into separate non-competing districts, and gave the contributors rights to use the pool’s state-of-the-art technology. West received the huge New England market, including New York City. All of the latest and most effective machine patents were at his disposal, and were quickly installed in his original bag factory at Rock City Falls.
Soon he was turning out bags by the millions. The new machines created the so-called Self-Opening Satchel bags that
West also served in the New York State Assembly, and he was elected to three terms in the US House of Representatives. He was also a great philanthropist, donating the equivalent of millions of dollars to a variety of causes, including the soldiers’ monuments in Ballston Spa and Schuylerville. When he died in 1901 he left a fortune that today would be worth nearly $75 million.
The Cottrell Paper Company still operates in Rock City Falls much as it did one hundred years ago. The Empire Mill and Excelsior Mill of George West are now part of a park
Also see . . .
1. Paper Bag King. (Submitted on December 10, 2018, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York.)
2. Rock City Falls (Wikipedia). (Submitted on December 10, 2018, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York.)
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on December 15, 2018. This page originally submitted on December 10, 2018, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. This page has been viewed 50 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on December 10, 2018, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. 2, 3. submitted on December 14, 2018, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.