For its April program, Hudson Heritage Association welcomes Cuyahoga Valley National Park Ranger Rebecca Jones Macko, who will tell the remarkable story of the Jaite Paper Mill and the community and culture that grew alongside it more than a century ago.
In 1905, Charles Jaite, a German immigrant and successful paper-company executive, opened the Jaite Paper Company near the confluence of Brandywine Creek and the Cuyahoga River near what is today the Brandywine Ski Resort in the Cuyahoga Valley.
A decade later, more than 200 people worked at the paper mill. Many lived in company housing built on Riverview and Vaughn roads. At its height, the company town had its own general store, post office, railroad station and newspaper.
The plant closed in 1984, but the stunning, unique buildings of the Jaite Mill Historic District remain as offices for the National Park Service.
Ranger Jones Macko will describe how the Jaite Paper Company once dominated life in the valley. She will share stories about what it meant to work at Jaite and what life was like in the small company town in the early 20th century.
“The Jaite Historic District is much more than the site of an old paper mill,” said Inga Walker, Hudson Heritage Association co-president. “It is one of the most important examples of the industrial enterprises that lured workers to our region and brought families and communities together.
“Rebecca is a wonderful storyteller. Expect her to turn back the clock and bring the Jaite Paper Mill back to life.”
Ranger Rebecca Jones Macko has been with the National Park Service for almost 30 years, working mostly in the division of interpretation. She came to the park service with a background in biology and public history. She’s been with the Cuyahoga Valley National Park for two decades. On any given day, she can be found researching for the new visitor center, working on social media, helping visitors at an information desk or leading a hike off the beaten path deep in the woods.
Her presentation will highlight Hudson Heritage Association’s April program on Thursday, April 11 at 7:30 p.m. at Barlow Community Center. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.