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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Milton in Saratoga County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Rock City Falls

 
 
Rock City Falls Marker image. Click for full size.
By Steve Stoessel, December 3, 2018
1. Rock City Falls Marker
Inscription.  V. Rathbun settled pre-1800. Area grew around early saw, grist mills; stores; hotels; schools; 1810 Methodist Ch.; mid-1800 paper mills Kilmer, West; P.O.; Catholic Ch. 1872
 
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. Marker is by the entrance to Cottrell Paper Plant. Touch for map. 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
Rock City Falls image. Click for full size.
By Steve Stoessel, December 14, 2018
2. Rock City Falls
Bag King,” once manufactured more paper bags in his mills along the Kayaderosseras Creek than any other person in the country and he got his start in Rock City Falls.

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
Last paper company in Rock City image. Click for full size.
By Steve Stoessel, December 14, 2018
3. Last paper company in Rock City
grocers grew to love. Because his paper bags were so much cheaper than cotton sacks, demand and profits soared. West expanded his operations and either built or acquired one mill after another along the Kayaderosseras Creek until a dozen were under his ownership. By 1880 he was producing more bags than anyone else in the country.

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 & CommerceSettlements & Settlers
 

More. Search the internet for Rock City Falls.
 
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 61 times since then and 27 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.
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