: River Run Paper Mill
: Bangor, ME
: The River Run Paper mill sits quietly along the river and the sounds of its leaky roofs, resident birds, and rock mining neighbors kept me on my toes. This sprawling 400,000 square foot facilty sitting on 41 acres was constructed in the early 1880s and helped feed Maine's booming logging industry. It ran for a solid 123 years finally closing in 2003. Certain areas of the mill are quickly showing the signs of abandonment while others seem to be withstanding the test of time a little better, like the power plant which is in remarkable shape, which makes one think it went through a slow process of closing. But after walking around for a while I began to realize it was like a 400,000 square foot time capsule. It appeared like one day the workers went home and then never came back. Hoards of personal items remained in offices and break rooms. Personal pictures of hunting trips and cars and family members covered the walls of some offices as well as notes and figures jotted down on chalkboards. Some clothing and workboots still remained in the closets as well as half filled drinks that showed 2003 expiration dates. The small town it resides in took a blow when this and several other mills closed along the river. 240 local workers lost their jobs. In 2005 a developer expressed interest in turning the site into a recreation area with shopping and fitness centers and a park that would generate closed to 600 jobs. So far no signs of this project going through have been seen.