PATTEN, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --- Townspeople here are now having to deal with some change this week as what once was a major business in Patten is now being taken apart. Crews have started taking down portions of the old Patten veneer mill which has been closed since 2010.
When it was open the mill made several products over the course of the last two centuries. It went from being a grist mill, to a lumber mill and then a plywood mill until 1980. It then moved onto making veneer until it was closed.
Townspeople say at its height more than 400 workers were employed at the mill. It was leveled by a fire in 1980. Workers say the economy then took it's toll after the mill was rebuilt with cheaper materials taking the place of plywood. Many residents say this week it's been hard watching the cranes do their work.
"It's sad to see something else be closed down," said Theresa Schmidt, whose mother in-law used to work at the mill, "We were so hoping that when the new owners took over it would create jobs for people so that they don't have to travel to Houlton or Millinocket or Bangor for work."
The lot the mill sits on is owned by SAG Realty. An official with that company told us while the boiler is being removed from the mill a good part of it will remain standing and there are plans for a new tenant to move into the site.