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By 1850, most towns had small factories along the upper Housatonic’s banks, using the river as both a source of water for their manufacturing or milling processes and a dumping ground for their waste products.


Papermaking in our region began in 1801 with the founding of Crane & Company in Dalton, which today still manufactures paper used for U.S. currency. By the 1840s, the southern Berkshires was the center of the country’s paper industry, with mills all along the Housatonic River.

Although America’s first wood pulp paper operations started in Curtisville and Lee, the region has been best known as the home of fine stationery paper. Dard Hunter’s artisanal papermaking enterprise at Lime Rock in the late 1920s and 1930s helped inspire the rebirth of the craft of making paper by hand in this country. Visit our, our sister website, for more history.

We also have a separate website for the Paper Trail

Paper Heritage Website