May 24, 2020

A history of Eastern Fine Paper, South Brewer (timeline)

1889 Businessman Fred Ayer builds pulp mill in South Brewer.

1895 Papermaking begins at South Main Street mill.

1914 Ayer’s Brewer plant merges with Katahdin Pulp and Paper Co. of Lincoln.

1916 Eastern Electro-Chemical Co. was organized.

1921 Eastern Manufacturing Co. absorbs Eastern Electro-Chemical Co.

1930 Eastern purchases Orono Pulp and Paper Co. and later deems it unprofitable and abandons it.

1958 Standard Packaging Corp. acquires the Brewer and Lincoln mills.

March 1968 Standard Packaging Corp. closes both mills.

1968 Local residents raise investment capital as the Greater Bangor-Brewer Development Corp. and reopen Brewer mill on Oct. 14, 1968.

1968 Premoid Inc., an Amherst, Mass., corporation owned by Joseph Torras, purchases, reopens Lincoln mill as Lincoln Pulp & Paper.

November 1969 E.B. Eddy Ltd. of Canada purchases Brewer mill.

April 18, 1989 Brewer mill sold to Joseph Torras.

1989-2004 Eastern Fine Paper Co. and Lincoln Pulp & Paper Co. operate as subsidiaries of Eastern Pulp & Paper Corp. under Torras.

Sept. 22, 2000 Eastern Pulp & Paper Corp. files for protection from its creditors under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code.

Jan. 16, 2004 Eastern Pulp & Paper Corp. closes Brewer and Lincoln mills.

January-December 2004 Maine Department of Environmental Protection and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency spend $1.5 million to $2 million to clean up and heat the mill during colder months, which cost in excess of $30,000 a week. DEP also consolidates the reusable or unopened chemicals. The city invests $6,000 for initial environmental assessment.

May 28, 2004 First Paper Holding LLC completes purchase of parent company; city of Brewer receives Brewer mill as part of the sale agreement.

June 2004 Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy Workers International Union Local 403, Eastern Fine’s labor union, disbands.

June 14, 2004 EPA sets up headquarters to itemize all of the chemicals in the buildings, in the paper machines and on the 41-acre site.

October 2004 City officials give public tours of abandoned mill.

November 2004 Public discussion of suggested uses held.

January 2005 Brewer picks Minnesota-based developer Michael Stern to convert former mill into a multiuse facility.

March 2005 City receives $15,000 planning grant from the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development. Developer Michael Stern matches the funds.

April 2005 Concept plans unveiled, include old-fashioned-style streets dotted with antique-looking lampposts and intimate restaurants and shops.

May 2005 EPA grants Brewer $350,000 for cleanup through its Brownfields Program; Developer Michael Stern offers to move City Hall to the historic administration building at the defunct mill site.

August 2005 A total of $3.55 million is awarded for the mill project through the Transportation, Treasury and the Judiciary and Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill for fiscal year 2006.

October 2005 City leaders learn $325,000 has been set aside to move City Hall, through the transportation spending bill of 2006, if the decision is made to do so.

November, December 2005 Several outlying buildings at mill site removed by city.

January 2006 Second anniversary of mill closing.

February 2006 After numerous changes, city abandons developer Michael Stern’s plans; seeks new proposals.

March 2006 City gets $400,000 to redevelop site from Gov. John Baldacci initiative.

May 2006 EPA issues $1.2 million in Brownfields Program cleanup grants and funding.

August 2006 Niemann Capital LLC, led by North Carolina-based developer Tom Niemann, selected to change the former mill into townhouses, retail, restaurant and performance space.

October 2006 Letter of intent expected to be signed between Brewer and Niemann Capital.

SOURCE: Bangor Daily News research by librarian Charlie Campo and reporter Nok-Noi Hauger

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