Abandoned paper bag mill in Ohio

Adams Bag Company Paper Mill and Sack Factory, Chagrin Falls Ohio
Date added: April 14, 2023 Categories:
Paper Mill Buildings and Dam, looking east (2012)

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The Adams Bag Company was the largest manila rope paper mill and bag manufacturing factory in the United States by 1887. The factory continued use as a paper manufacturing facility for 145 years. In 1859 William T. Upham constructed what would become the Adams Bag Company Paper Mill and Sack Factory on the foundations of the earlier Bliss & Mayhew Flouring Mill. In 1932 the Adams Bag Company was formally dissolved as a corporation and the assets sold to the Chase Bag Company.

The Adams Bag Company Paper Mill and Sack Factory is located along the northern bank of the Chagrin River on Cleveland St., one-half mile to the east of Chagrin Falls Village center. Constructed in 1859 as a water powered paper mill, this property came under the ownership of Fitch and Alfred Adams in 1868, two Cleveland industrialists who converted it to a manila rope paper mill and bag-manufacturing factory. The Adams brothers applied the latest technologies and methods of efficiency in production and owned patents on many of their machines and equipment for the production of paper shipping bags. With the advent of the Progressive Era in America and under the leadership of the Luther Allen family, the Adams Bag Company continued to prosper with its production of fine paper, paper bags and paper shipping containers.

During World War I, the War Industries Board classified the Adams Bag Company as essential to the national welfare for its production of manila rope paper bags, in which vast quantities of flour and other cereal products were shipped. The company played an important part in assisting the United States Food Administration and was subsidized by the State Department, the Department of Commerce, the War Industries Board, the United States Railroad Administration and others. By 1919, it was producing annually "in the neighborhood of 30 million" manila paper bags.

From its establishment in 1868, as the Adams Co. and later as the Adams Bag Company, it continued to maintain an important and close relationship with the local Chagrin Falls community. As stated by President E.B. Allen in 1923, in response to efforts by outsiders to lure the company out of Chagrin Falls and into Cleveland:

all that you say about better railroad facilities and a broader market in Cleveland is true, but what of our skilled and experienced and well trained workers who own homes at Chagrin Falls and who for years and years have loyally assisted in bringing The Adams Bag Company to where it is today? The human element is more important to this Organization than its physical facilities. Our people have been loyal to us, now we will be loyal to them. We are not interested in taking our plant out of Chagrin Falls"... "our plant and business here is an intimate part of the community life of the village." ... "I like to think this plant will continue to be an important factor in the life of the village long after we who are here today have passed on."

The Adams Bag Company Paper Mill and Sack Factory is the last remaining mill in the Chagrin Falls area, which during its founding years in 1842, had as many as nine mills located along its riverbanks.

The site of the Adams Bag Company Paper Mill and Sack Factory "between the tops of the [Chagrin] river banks" was attractive to early pioneers, who first arrived to the wilderness of what would become Chagrin Falls by 1833, part of Range 9, Township 7 of the Connecticut Western Reserve. These enterprising pioneers saw the potential for the water power of the Chagrin River. The settlement of Chagrin Falls was founded in 1833 along an approximately one mile stretch of the Chagrin River. During the founding years between 1833 and 1842, Chagrin Falls grew to an established population of 601 people dependent upon the mills of the Chagrin River. By 1842, settlers had constructed nine water powered mills along the banks of the Chagrin River which generated products to support the basic necessities of the new settlement and region.

The first mill was that of Hervey White who operated an axe factory, saw mill, and other buildings at what came to be known as Whitesburg. The Whitesburg mill was generating $20,000 in business annually using a 24 foot dam with a reservoir of 25 acres. His axes helped clear the timber of the Western Reserve for settlement and were also sold in the western territories. His business came to an end with a decline in the supply of timber for the manufacture of axe handles. The factory and mill subsequently fell into disrepair until it was purchased in 1863 by Charles Force and refurbished as a woolen mill. The woolen mill was moved downstream in 1892 to become part of the Adams Bag Company Paper Mill and Sack Factory, on the west side of Cleveland Street. The woolen mill building was later demolished in 1991 to make way for relocation of the Cleveland Street Bridge.

Downstream from Whitesburg was the Bliss and Mayhew flouring mill (Mill & Dam #2) with a dam of 21 feet, which would later become the site of the Adams Bag Company Paper Mill and Sack Factory. The Farmers' and Mechanics' Journal, reported in 1842 that Bliss and Mayhew were, "completing one of the finest flouring mills in northern Ohio... Their stone mill and dam, perhaps are not surpassed in the western states, for beauty of materials and in the manner of construction. There is a semi-circle arched up-stream, and is truly a splendid and impossible piece of masonry."

The third mill (Mill & Dam #3) downstream was a paper mill and saw mill owned by Chagrin Falls founder Noah Graves. To power his mill, he constructed a dam of 12 feet located just above the Main Street bridge at the town center. This mill produced straw paper and wrapping paper until 1842 when the mill became Graves & Sears, co-owned by Charles Sears, and began making writing paper and then printing paper. From 1843 to 1888 the mill changed multiple hands and evolved into both a paper and flour sack manufacturer operating as the Chagrin Falls Paper Company by 1873. The property was sold to Joseph O'Malley in 1892, a local carpenter known for his fine quality millwork. In 1931, the buildings that housed the paper mill and saw mill were torn down by the Village of Chagrin Falls to make way for the Riverside Park, which remains today.

A fourth mill (Mill & Dam #4) was powered by a small dam and mill race built beneath the Main Street bridge on the natural High Falls of 21 feet, originally built by George Fenkell as a gristmill in 1836. In 1842, it was reported that this mill was flouring a considerable quantity of wheat for the New York market under the brand "J.K. Halleck & Co." The mill changed hands and was purchased by Washington Gates and David Spears in 1867. Washington Gates, his son William, and his son Holsey continued to operate the flouring mill under the name "Chagrin Falls Mills.". The mill showroom constructed by Washington Gates in 1874, remains today at 53 North Main Street, known as the "Popcorn Shop." In 1931, the Village of Chagrin Falls purchased and razed the mill which had operated on the site for close to 100 years.

A fifth mill (Mill & Dam #5) with a dam of nine feet operated the woolen factory of clothier C. & H. Earl doing an annual business of $10,000 in 1842. The mill shared water power with the wooden ware factory operated on the opposite side of the river by Curtis Bullard. In 1842, Curtiss Bullard and Cornelius Northrop opened their woodenware factory on the south side of the river north of where West Washington and Water Street meet. Bullard and Northrup manufactured spinning wheels, reels, and wheat headers as well as a general wood-turning business. After Northrop sold his interest, Bullard's sons John S. and Orson came into the business. In the late 1850's, the company added kitchenware to their product line including rolling pins, steak pounders, potato mashers and butter molds. John S, Bullard held the patent on a butter mold and the necessary machine for manufacture. In 1877, it was estimated that the company would produce close to a quarter million butter molds. John S. Bullard is credited with taking the butter mold industry from a cottage to a factory industry requiring skilled wood carvers. Employee George March purchased an interest in the mill and it became known as "Bullard & March." In 1883, a flood severely damaged the mill. In 1895 it ceased operation due to a shortage of lumber and a lessening interest in butter molds. The wood turning machinery was sold. Finally, the Great Flood of 1913 washed the remaining factory mill buildings downstream.

The sixth mill (Mill & Dam #6), "Neff & Williams," utilized a nine foot dam that provided power for a saw mill and furnace. Samuel Nettleton ran a small sawmill, furnace and tin mill on the property which he sold to the Reverend Benajah Williams and his son-in-law Henry Neff. In 1844 after a flood destroyed the buildings, Williams sold the water rights to his son John W. Williams. John W. Williams built a new dam and machine shop and rebuilt the other buildings. The company went on to become an expansive iron works factory with products including plows, farm implements, iron grates wagon wheel hubs, cook stove. Later products in 1857 included seamless thimble skeins, wrought iron axels and oil drilling equipment. J.W. Williams would come to hold patents on the company's most successful product, sad irons. By 1880, the Williams Company employed 75 men and produced 1,500 sad irons a day. After suffering a devastating flood in 1883, the mill was rebuilt. In 1889, a fire destroyed the entire Williams foundry and the community came together to assist in the rebuild.

However, with a second fire in 1892, A.C. Williams decided to move the company to Ravenna which had a railroad line and fire fighting equipment.

Further down stream was a seventh (Mill & Dam #7) unoccupied mill with a 14 foot dam constructed in 1842. This mill and dam no longer remain.

The eighth mill (Mill & Dam #8) was the turning works of E. Goodwin with a 5 foot dam. This mill and dam no longer remain.

Finally, a nine foot dam powered two looms to operate the woolen mill of O. & J.N. Bliss (Mill & Dam #9). In 1853, Adin Gaunt purchased the woolen mill which was called Maple Grove Mill. Gaunt was a talented millwright adept at designing and repairing machinery used in the mills on the river. This mill and dam no longer remain.

The Adams Bag Company Paper Mill and Sack Factory was built in 1859 upon the foundations of the earlier Bliss & Mayhew flouring mill using the existing dam. Bliss and Mayhew had constructed a substantial mill and dam, but floods and drought presented challenges. Mayhew left the business and Bliss re-partnered with Samuel Pool and later John Weston to convert the flouring mill into a woolen mill. By 1850, the US Census indicated that Bliss, Pool & Weston were operating a water powered "woolen factory" capitalized with $20,000 and producing annually 75,000 yards of cloth valued at $37,500, employing 15 men and 10 women. At the cusp of the Industrial Revolution in 1856, the Bliss & Pool woolen mill was sold and converted to a paper mill by the Lake Erie Paper Company. The Lake Erie paper mill would be short lived as reported in the Cleveland Leader on Feb. 12, 1858, "Fire was discovered yesterday in one of the rag rooms of the Lake Erie paper mill. The Mill was entirely consumed; all that was saved were books and papers..."

Chagrin Falls citizen and local builder William T. Upham purchased the paper mill property and adjacent lands in 1859 for $5,000 described as "all said premises supposed to contain thirty acres. Together with the privilege of keeping up a dam where the same now stands across the Chagrin River fourteen feet four inches with the privilege of flowing all land said dam will cover with water."

The Cuyahoga County, Ohio tax records show that W.T. Upham rebuilt on the site in 1859, indicating an assessed value of $2990 for the tax year 1860, from $672 in 1859. In 1864, W.T. Upham conveyed a one-half interest to Dennis A. Davis for $10,000, who again operated a paper mill. After making substantial improvements in 1867, Davis & Son declared bankruptcy and the property was ordered for sale.

In 1868, W.T. Upham paired up with two Cleveland industrialists and paper bag manufacturers, Alfred and Fitch Adams, along with Thomas Phillips. They reworked the mill, upgrading the machinery and production for the manufacture of manila rope flour shipping bags. The Cleveland Leader reported on Dec. 31, 1869 that "The upper paper mill in Chagrin Falls, owned by Adams and Upham, has been undergoing extensive repairs. A large addition has been built to the mill, making room for the paper engine to be used for the manufacture of fine paper. The main part of the building will be used for the manufacture of paper suitable for paper bags. This requires heavy and efficient engines, and to meet requirements, the whole building has been overhauled. A first class 80 horse power steam engine will lend efficient aid." Five months later, Thomas Phillips sold his interest in the mill to Alfred and Fitch Adams for $7,500 and went on to establish the Thomas Phillips Bag Co. of Akron, Ohio. In 1870, W.T. Upham sold his interest in the mill to Alfred and Fitch Adams for $8,000.

New owners of the mill, Fitch and Alfred Adams, were the enterprising grandsons of Asahel Adams of Connecticut. Asahel Adams served in the Revolutionary War under George Washington at Valley Forge and afterward returned to his home in Connecticut. Asahel, along with his brother Jabez, went on to acquire land from the Connecticut Land Company in 1795 and became proprietors of the Erie Company. The Erie Company in turn hired Simon Perkins as their General Agent for the sale of their Western Reserve lands in Ohio. In the summer of 1802, grandfather Asahel Adams moved from Connecticut to the Western Reserve "then an almost unbroken wilderness" with 10 children. One of his children was 16 year old Asael, who would be the father of Fitch and Alfred Adams. Fitch and Alfred's father, Asael, became a leading member of the Warren and Trumbull county community supporting the essential elements of an early settlement. Trumbull County until 1809 contained the whole of the Western Reserve, with Warren as the county seat.

Into this important and prominent Western Reserve family were born Fitch Adams in 1827 and Alfred Adams in 1833. Upon maturity, they both moved to Cleveland, Ohio the new commercial center of the Western Reserve by 1858. As products of a forward thinking, enterprising and pioneering family, Alfred and Fitch arose to the challenge of their generation and moved into the age of industrialization growing the Adams Co., later known as the Adams Bag Company, into the largest manila rope paper mill and bag manufacturer in the United States.

Their business experience in the paper shipping bag industry began prior to their purchase of the Chagrin Falls paper mill. In 1858, Fitch and Alfred Adams and Joseph A. Jewett of Cincinnati formed a bag manufacturing firm in Cleveland under the name of Adams, Jewett & Co. The firm had a factory in Cleveland and another one in Cincinnati for the manufacture of cotton paper and burlap bags for packing flour. During the Civil War, cotton became scarce in the Northern states, the price of it advancing tremendously thereby pushing manufacturers to seek out new raw materials. The company therefore converted to manila rope as an alternative and, as it turned out, more durable raw material. Manila rope paper bags were claimed to better protect the contents from "dust, moisture, odors and contamination of all kinds." The Exponent reported that Alfred Adams claimed to have first conceived of the idea of producing a shipping package for flour out of manila rope paper.

The Adams Co. mill moved into the age of industrialization serving a wider economic base, but continued to use the water power of the Chagrin River to operate their factory. The 1870 US Census reported that Adams, Upham & Co., manufacturers of paper in Chagrin Falls, Ohio were well capitalized with $50,000 and producing annually 270 tons of manila paper valued at $54,175, and powered with 60 hp of water and 20 hp of steam to operate two wheels and one engine to run one double cylinder, paper machines, and four rag engine machines. By December 1870, the Adams brothers were sole owners of the Mill becoming known as the Adams Co.

Paper manufacturing was made possible by the increased efficiency and production capability resulting from the introduction of industrialization and the steam turbine. Paper mills at the advent of the Industrial Age in America were started by businessmen, such as the Adams brothers, who were no longer dependent upon local demand. The physical construction of mills was also affected by this shift in market and production capacity. Smaller wood frame flour and woolen mills were often replaced by larger fieldstone, brick and granite industrial buildings to accommodate increased production capabilities. Earlier frame mills were vulnerable to fires, started by sparks from the machinery, especially in paper mills such as the Lake Erie Paper Company which used rags and pulp in the production process. Masonry or stone construction was preferred for industrialized mills to allow not only for better fire protection, but also to better withstand vibrations from machines. They also often had a high window to wall ratio to allow for maximum light exposure into interior spaces and to better light the attic of the building. A clearstory made up of a row of dormer windows called trapdoor or eyebrow monitors were often cut into each side of the roof. The Adams Bag Company Paper Mill and Bag Factory was most likely larger than the earlier flouring and woolen mill building located on the property, because of the increased machinery and production space required for paper making. The coursed rubble river stone wall material of the Adams mill, was also likely used by W.T. Upham for construction in response to the fire that burned the previous mill. The stone was likely taken from the stone quarry of Hannibal Goodell, located just to the west of the mill along the south bank of the Chagrin River. A high window to wall ratio is seen in the Adams mill with 16 rectangular 9/9 windows located along its southern facade. A pitched roof, trapdoor monitor and two cupolas were constructed in ca. 1888, but no longer remain.

The business was not without its challenges. The first railroad came to the City of Cleveland in 1851 and by 1860, five railroad lines operated in and out of Cleveland. However, until 1877, the nearest railhead to Cleveland from Chagrin Falls was located in Solon, four miles distant to the southwest of Chagrin Falls. The Adams Co. therefore had to haul materials back and forth over mud roads by horse and wagon between Chagrin Falls and Solon. In January 1876, the local newspaper the Exponent reported that the water wheel at the Adam's Paper Mill had broken and "The mill will be closed for awhile as the company has no supply of coal on hand and the roads are so bad that it is almost impossible to get over to Solon."

Economic depressions, bankruptcies, and a flood of mergers of railroad companies across the region had slowed construction of a railroad to Chagrin Falls. After several failed attempts, major community and political leaders banned together and succeeded in bringing a narrow gauge railroad to Chagrin Falls in 1877, to run to the standard gauge Atlantic and Great Western Railroad in Solon. Not surprisingly, Alfred Adams was on railroad committee.

With a railroad depot now in Chagrin Falls, the Adams brothers focused on creating a paper bag manufacturing facility that would come to surpass all others. The rationalization of factory production and the arrangement of processes for the achievement of maximum production at the lowest cost, was transforming American industry. The Chagrin Falls Exponent continually reported as the Adams mill was updated, repaired and adapted with the latest in machinery for the production of manila rope paper bags. The functional efficiency of the production process was apparent in the layout of the Paper Mill building.

Among the improvements, the Adams dam was rebuilt to 22 ft. in 1878 "the best ever built at that place." By 1880, the US Census reported that the Company was powered by a Leffel water turbine, a state of the art hydraulic turbine patented in 1862 by James Leffel of Springfield, Ohio. In order to improve efficiency and protect from outside weather, a 73 ft. masonry arched tunnel six feet wide and nine feet high was constructed in 1882 connecting the paper mill located on the east side of Cleveland Street to the Sack Factory located on the west side with a miniature railway to transport stock material and for use as a walkway to the sack factory, increasing production efficiency. New machinery was installed including a new bag machine that would allow production of 15,000 sacks per day the only downside reported was "that it makes necessary the discharge of four or five nimble fingered" workers. In September, 1882 the Exponent reported that the Adams Mill "may be styled the largest manufactory in the place, employing as it does 55 operatives and turning over $200,000 worth of goods per annum...their goods enjoy the reputation of being as good as skill, fine machinery and good material will make and are sold all over the country." By August, 1884, the Exponent was reporting that "It is now one of the largest sack manufacturers in the U.S."

Riding the wave of invention of the industrial era and improving upon packaging of a basic and necessary need to the growing population of America during the Industrial Age was the forte of the Adams brothers. The domestic market for American goods was supported by an expanding population. From 1860 to 1900, the number of Americans more than doubled. The spirit of invention and the proliferation of patents prevailed from 1865 to 1900. The Adams Co. was no exception. By 1883, Alfred Adams held seven key patents on paper bags and paper bag-related machinery as listed with the U.S. Patent Office, four of which listed Alfred Adams as the inventor, including:

1. The Satchel Bottom Paper Bag, 1870.
2. A Specialized Table for making Paper Bags, 1871.
3. A Scalloped Topped Paper Bag, 1876.
4. A Paper Manufacturing Process and Apparatus for making the same, 1878.
5. A Paper Tube Machine, 1878.
6. An Improved Satchel Bottom Paper Bag, 1879.
7. A Paper Bag making Machine and Paper Bag Manufacturing Equipment, 1883.

During this period of rapid industrial expansion and growth in the United States from 1860 to 1900, the federal government pursued a policy of laissez faire. No laws were enacted restricting business practices to protect the large supply of laborers required to support industrialization. While Americans generally enjoyed an improved standard of living through the mass production of affordable goods, a rise in real wages and improved working conditions, for many workers the social, health and eventually economic costs were high. Industrial workers were helpless whenever economic panic or depression ensued or a new technological invention displaced them. Factory work was monotonous and the number of industrial accidents was high. Many laborers suffered from illnesses acquired at the workplace from chemicals, dust, and other pollutants where they worked generally a ten hour day, six days per week. Skilled workers earned twenty cents an hour, while unskilled workers made about ten cents and most companies did not permit employee vacations. At the mercy of the law of supply and demand, workers took whatever wages, hours and conditions of work they could find. Between 1870 and 1900, the number of working women rose from 15 % to 20%, while the number of children who worked increased by almost 130%, but both received less pay than adult male workers. It appears that the employees of the Adams Co. were valued and treated well by the recognition, company amenities, and lifetime service awards, as reported by the Exponent. For many, their job lasted a working lifetime. According to the 1880 US Census, the Adams Co. employed six males above 16 years, and, 20 females above 15 years at an average daily wage of 50 cents for an ordinary worker and $1.33 for a skilled mechanic. The Exponent reported in April, 1876 that "3000 sacks were made by one of the girls for Adams & Co.'s mill one day last week making $2.10." Any labor disputes at the mill were quickly resolved. Accidents at the mill were given detailed coverage in the Exponent, but were relatively rare in occurrence. Air and water pollution were byproducts of the industrialized mill and in the late 1880's, the Exponent carried editorials on the stench emanating from the paper mill pond.

As the 19th century drew to a close, fewer and larger companies controlled a greater share of the business creating monopolized industry. Any company refusing to follow the lead of the monopolists, was usually crushed in a ruthless price war. One very effective method was the stock exchange maneuver that produced the "Trust." The Exponent on November 3rd, 1887 reported that the "paper bag manufacturers of the country have formed a combination of a very solid character in the form of a trust which controls nearly all the paper sack factories of the country." Adams & Co. "who own the best bag machinery extant, are the originators of the scheme and leading spirits in its consumption."

The paper bag trust became known at the American Bag Company with capital stock of $2 million and held a 25 year lease on all the bag manufacturers within it. Alfred Adams was the Chairman of the Executive Committee. The Exponent reported in 1887, that the Adams Co. "is second to none while their paper bag machinery is the finest in the world and which really by its perfection in operation rendered the trust necessary to save competing companies from being driven out of business. The Company controls the patents on these machines, which make from 30,000 to 40,000 [bags] in ten hours and are not in any factory in the world outside of Chagrin Falls.... Chagrin Falls mills will be made the manufactory of the trust, and their capacity will be greatly increased." The Exponent editorialized that it:

"depreciates 'trusts' and combinations on general principles, believing them to be pernicious and injurious to the community, but, in this age of combination and corner, it may come to pass that all branches of human industry will be forced into this unnatural position of self protection. When the time comes - and we might say that it is substantially here- what is to become of the foundation stone of the social fabric - the farmer- unless he rises above the petty jealousies and bickerings, demands his share of the great struggle and forms an intelligent strong offensive and defensive combination. With mortgages piling up on one hand and expenses on the other what other remedy is left?"

No more reports appeared in the Exponent on the American Bag Company trust after its initial formation. The ever watchful Exponent did however report as capital was continually invested back into the Adams Co. and another surge of updates, new machines and rebuilding occurred in 1888 "due to a large and rapidly increasing business."

On May 16th, 1888, Fitch Adams passed away at his home at 1358 Euclid Ave. in Cleveland. He had been co-owner of Adams Co, and at the same time headed the Cleveland based Adams, Jewett & Co. At his father's death, Henry Ranney Adams resigned his commission in the military at Fort Meade, Dakota and came home to Cleveland to become superintendent and general manager of Adams, Jewett & Co. and the Chagrin Falls, Adams Co. manufacturing operations.

In 1890, the standard gauge Cleveland, Canton & Southern railroad arrived in Chagrin Falls, no longer necessitating a switch to the standard gauge railroad in Solon. This was a boon to business and by 1890, Adams Co. was already planning on leasing the Chagrin Falls Woolen Mill property at Whitesburg, located adjacent up the Chagrin River to the northeast of the Adams Co. Mill. The Adams Co. was seeking to build a stone upper dam and rebuild an embankment to create a reservoir, and tap into more water power. A contract was awarded to create the "largest of any dams along the river" at 24 feet in height. Hard rains made the job particularly challenging, but the Exponent reported that the reservoir was filling in October, and three water wheels arrived for installation in the Spring after the weather improved. A new Corliss engine was also installed.

In February 1891, Fitch Mygatt Adams, son of Alfred Adams, was 33 years old and had been manager and superintendent at the Adams Co. for six years. While checking the newly repaired embankment at upper pond reservoir after heavy rains, he fell from his boat into a heavy current and was carried over the 24 ft. dam to his tragic death. The power of the river could not be underestimated. He had been an important member of the community, served as a Village Councilman and lived in the Joseph O'Malley House, 1875 at 68 Water Street, Chagrin Falls.

Improvement to the plant continued through the Panic of 1893. The old woolen mill at the upper mill reservoir was disassembled, moved and attached to the west side of the Sack Factory. Electricity was installed in the plant, with a dynamo and capacity for 200 lights. By 1896 the Exponent reported that "the average production of No. 1 bag paper at Adams & Co's paper mill last week was the largest daily average on that grade of paper in that extensive establishment's history. For one machine mill it was the largest of any paper mill in the U.S. the whole equipment of this plant is pronounced by experts to be in the finest mechanical condition ..."

Therefore, upon announcement on April 1st, 1897 that the Adams Mill would be shut down indefinitely due to a business failure, the "citizens of Chagrin Falls were dumbfounded." It "for some time past has had on its payroll at this place upwards of 50 employees, many having been in the company's employ for years." The Adams Co. had become successful, however, Adams, Jewett & Co. with offices on Academy Street in Cleveland had "been more speculative in character, encounter[ing] years in which heavy losses were sustained." The profits of Adams Co. were being drawn off to support the ventures of Adams, Jewett & Co. In March of 1897, the Adams, Jewett firm was liquidated to pay off the debt, and heavy mortgages were filed. Adams & Co. convinced the court that a receiver should be appointed to continue operation of the Chagrin Falls Paper Mill and Sack Factory. George March Jr., then President of the Chagrin Falls Banking Company, was quickly appointed. By the next week it was reported that George March had taken control of the Adams Sack Factory and that work had again resumed - while it was not sure how it would be kept running. "The sound of the big whistle Monday morning was a joyful one to our citizens..." March ran the Paper Mill successfully until December 1898, when incorporation papers were issued to the new Adams Bag Company of Chagrin Falls with capital stock of $150,000. Among the incorporators was Luther Allen, who would serve as the new president and Henry Ranney Adams, son of Fitch Adams, serving as manager and superintendent of the plant. This new company purchased all the assets of the former Adams Co. and also acquired printing presses, engravings and electrotypes formerly the property of Adams, Jewett & Company from Cleveland and removed the entire manufacturing operation to the Chagrin Falls plant.

Due to his failing eyesight Alfred Adams retired from the business in 1898 at the age of 65 years. He had lived in Chagrin Falls at the Charles Sears - Alfred Adams House, 1844, located at 115 East Summit in Chagrin Falls, purchasing this home in 1878 from the estate of earlier mill owner Samuel Pool. He remained in Chagrin Falls until 1884 when he moved back to Wilson Ave. in Cleveland. The Cleveland Social Directory). He spent his last years living in Cleveland at the home of his daughter Bertha Adams Wellman where he passed away in 1906.

The Adams brothers had created a paper bag manufacturing dynasty. In writing the Adams family genealogy in 1899, Comfort Adams, brother to Fitch and Alfred, stated that it is an irregular fact that almost the sole of the paper bag industry of the State of Ohio is directly controlled and managed by the descendents of Asahel Adams, Sr. including grandsons Alfred and Fitch Adams. The Adams Bag Company of Cleveland by 1899 was managed by Henry Ranney Adams. The Cleveland Bag Company of Cleveland, was managed by George Dana Adams, The Raymond Bag Company of Cincinnati was controlled by James, Henry and George Raymond, grandsons of Susan Adams Patterson. The Crescent Bag Company of Cincinnati was also managed by Raymond of the same family.

With the retirement of Alfred Adams in 1898, reorganization of the Company and the election of Luther Allen as president, a new family entered the business. Luther Allen had been working as Secretary Treasurer of Globe Iron Works, a steel steamship manufacturer in Cleveland. He was an esteemed resident of the City of Cleveland living on Euclid Ave. and had served as president of the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce in 1894, was an original Trustee of the Cleveland Trust Company and had served on the Maritime Board of Cleveland. He was a "banker manufacturer and railroad executive, one of the most useful citizens of his time." He served the Adams Bag Company as president until his death in 1905 at the age of 59. His sons went on to serve the Company as directors and executives. Until 1956, Edward Bingham Allen was president and vice president of Chase Bag Company, which later acquired the Adams Bag Company. Under the leadership of the Allen family, the Adams Bag Company boomed as it entered the 20th century and the Progressive Age.

In 1906, the cement industry was experiencing rapid growth creating a new demand for rope paper shipping containers. The Adams Bag Company responded by significantly enlarging its capacity from 4 tons per day to 11 tons per day. New machinery was acquired and a large force of men and teams were employed to construct a second Rope Storage Warehouse measuring "over 400 ft. long and has a capacity of well over 1000 tons of paper making fibers." The cost of improvements in 1906 was $150,000.

In June, 1910, it was reported that the Adams Bag Company is constructing "a concrete chimney, reinforced with steel to further increase capacity. It is 12 feet in outside diameter at the base, with an inside diameter of 6 feet. It is to be 182 feet high, being 87 feet higher than the present chimney..." By July, the Company reported that in place of the five existing boilers which aggregated about 700 hp, three new boilers were being installed aggregating 1200 hp. This new higher chimney allowed for operation of the new boilers. By August 1910, the chimney had nearly been completed and another new boiler had arrived. The efficiency and power of the mill had been significantly increased.

By 1913, the Adams Bag Company had come up with another way to tap into the power of the Chagrin River - an aqueduct. A water channel and steel pipe aqueduct one-half mile in length was constructed using water from the upper mill pond at Whitesburg to create more water power to operate their mill downstream. In July 1913, the Exponent reported that construction was progressing "with a gang of men" on an aqueduct being built for the Adams Bag Company by the Cleveland Construction Co. To construct the aqueduct, a four feet in diameter pipe was placed on "a nearly level grade and in as nearly direct a line as possible between the plant and the upper mill pond [at Whitesburg] half a mile away."

A bed ten feet wide was prepared, leading from the mill, along up the bank of the river, across a corner of the pond and on up to the upper mill pond to accommodate the aqueduct. The new aqueduct was expected to furnish an additional 300 hp. By September 1913, the Exponent was reporting that "Big sections of steel tubing had arrived for the aqueduct. Describing them as "30 feet long and four feet in diameter, being made of steel boiler plate, a quarter of an inch thick. They are coated on both sides, with asphalt for protection against corrosion. A big cut is being made at the upper pond, by which to lead the water out. Excavation work in both rock and earth is going on and much concrete work is to be done to form abutments to prevent earth being washed out."

By 1914 the Allen family bought out the remaining Adams family interests, but carried on the business in the name of the Adams Bag Company. During World War I, the Adams Bag Company was determined essential to the national welfare during World War I and classified as such by the War Industries Board. Manila rope paper bags made by the Company were used to ship vast quantities of flour and other cereal products, playing an important part in assisting the United States Food Administration, and therefore subsidized during the War by the State Department, the Department of Commerce, the War Industries Board, the United States Railroad Administration among others.

In 1919, the Adams Bag Company was producing "in the neighborhood of 30 million manila bags annually" and manufacturing about 25 different types of bags for packing products such as cement, charcoal, coke, chemicals, clay, glue, gum, lamp black, corn meal, poultry feed, flour and cereals, lime, plaster and talc. The Company became known for its trademarked "Neverburst" bags.

To meet the demand for bag production in 1919, the Adams Bag Company Paper Mill required approximately nine tons of paper per day, the manufacture of which required 15 tons of old manila rope and jute bagging raw fiber material. The streamlined paper manufacturing portion of the process began in the Rope Cutting Room, where rope cutter machines cut the raw fiber material into small pieces. After cutting, dirt was dusted out with a special machine designed to loosen, spread and clean. The material was then moved to the Bleaching/ Rotary Cooker Room and cooked under 30 lbs. of steam pressure with lime, soda, ash and water for seven to eight hours, during which time the fiber was in continual motion in a revolving boiler. The boilers were then drained and the cooked fiber stock placed in carts, allowing it to cure. From this point, the material was moved to the Beater Room. Each beating engine was filled with the cooked fiber, where it was washed, bleached, colored, sized and beaten to further separate the fibers. From the beaters, the material passed by gravity into chests known as stuff chests or storage tanks and travelled to the Paper Machine Room. Here, it was pumped through screens to eliminate coarse fibers. The remaining water filled with fine fibers was then passed through copper wire cylinders. The fine fibers adhered to cylinders, were picked up on felts and then passed through steam heated cylinders until all moisture was eliminated and paper sheets emerged. The next stop was the Coating Department where an enamel coating was added to the paper. The freshly coated paper was then dried by rapid circulation of warm air in the Drying Room. At this point the heavy enamel manila paper was ready for manufacture into paper bags or sacks. This finished paper material was transported by a small locomotive which travelled along a track leading from just outside the Drying Room through a tunnel under Cleveland Street and into the Bag Factory across Cleveland Street to the west. Final bag production was then completed in the Bag Factory. Automatic color printing presses labeled each bag. The printed or plain tubes were then folded, pasted, and pressed into bags with special devices designed for the purpose. Bags were inspected in the Inspection Department and then sent to the Bailing and Shipping Room where they were tied into bales for shipment to customers.

By 1925, the Adams Bag Company was the oldest enterprise in the world devoted exclusively to the production of rope paper and rope paper shipping sacks. It was the only gravity paper mill in the manilla rope paper industry, in which raw material passed by gravity through the manufacturing process, and only one of three in the industry that used water power derived from water wheels in the mill.

Under the leadership of Edward and Kenneth Allen, the Company had moved its executive offices from Cleveland to Chagrin Falls and constructed at the same time a "Fire-proof Office Building" in 1923. The Office Building was to be the first in a comprehensive program for later enlargement of the mill, which never came to be.

In 1926, all of the capital stock of the Adams Bag Company, an Ohio corporation, was purchased by Chase Bag Co., a Delaware corporation with head offices in New York City and bag manufacturing branches in Philadelphia, Buffalo, Toledo, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Kansas City, Dallas and New Orleans. Between 1926 and 1932, the Adams Bag Company operated in Chagrin Falls as a wholly owned corporate subsidiary of Chase Bag Co., but remained under the oversight of the same officers and staff that had directed the Company since 1914.

In 1932 and in hard economic times, Chase Bag Company restructured its relationship with the Adams Bag Company. Instead of operating it as a wholly owned corporate subsidiary, Chase Bag Company arranged for the Adams Bag Company to "disincorporate" as of June 30th, 1932 and acquired all of its assets, in place of the stock of the Adams Bag Company. Beginning July 1st, 1932, it became known as "The Adams Bag Company (Branch of Chase Bag Company)." The headquarters of Adams Bag Company were transferred out of Chagrin Falls and into the Cleveland offices of Chase Bag Company, under the general supervision of all paper bag operations at Chase Bag Co. branches. The former president E.B. Allen, vice president K.L. Allen, sales manager and assistant sales manager were all reassigned from Chagrin Falls to the Cleveland office as officers and managers of Chase Bag Company. The purchase of the Adams Bag Company by Chase Bag Company was an effort to preserve economic stability for the business of the Adams Bag Company, but the reorganization and buy out marked the end of an era for the Adams and Allen families who together had owned and headed the company for 64 years.

Chase Bag Company owned the Chagrin Falls mill until 1989 when they sold it to Ilvex of Ohio, Inc. In 1991, the Sack Factory portion of the mill, located on the west side of Cleveland Street, was demolished. Earlier, in June 1972, a boarding house constructed by mill owners Bliss & Pool in 1845 and later used for machine storage, was moved to 49 West Orange Street, Chagrin Falls where it remains today as a retail shop. In 1994, the upper dam at Whitesburg failed, but portions of the aqueduct remain. In 1996 Ivex of Ohio, Inc. donated the upper 85 acres of the property to the Village of Chagrin Falls which is now Whitesburg Nature Preserve. In 2002, Ilvex of Ohio Inc. was purchased by Alcoa. A paper manufacturing facility continued on this site until June 2004, when the Company closed down after 145 years of operation as a mill. It is the last remaining mill in Chagrin Falls and one of the longest continuously operating paper mill and bag manufacturing factories in the United States. It was purchased by Spillway, LLC in 2008, rezoned for mixed use, and redevelopment is anticipated.

Site Description

The Adams Bag Company Paper Mill and Sack Factory is a mid-nineteenth-century paper mill complex located along the banks of the Chagrin River in the Village of Chagrin Falls in Cuyahoga County, Ohio.

The Mill is on the north bank of the Chagrin River where Mill Street meets the Cleveland Street Bridge approximately one-half mile east of the commercial center of the Village of Chagrin Falls. The site originally was chosen due to the opportunity to employ the water power of the Chagrin River for industrial uses. William T. Upham, a local builder, purchased the property from the defunct Lake Erie Paper Company in 1859. He acquired additional adjacent property, thirty acres in total, along with the existing Dam and Mill Pond and re-constructed a paper mill. In 1868, Upham merged with brothers Alfred and Fitch Adams to form Adams, Upham and Company, paper manufacturers. By December of 1870, Upham had sold his shares of the company and the company was known as the Adams Bag Company.

The site of the Adams Bag Company Paper Mill and Sack Factory hosted several mills before settling as a paper mill. The first enterprise constructed on the site was in 1842. A flouring mill constructed by New Yorkers Aaron Bliss and John Mayhew included a dam and mill pond. The river however, being unpredictable would either cause flooding or draught and in 1850 Bliss re-partnered with Samuel Pool and later John Weston to convert the flouring mill into the Bliss, Pool & Weston woolen mill. In 1856, the Bliss & Pool woolen mill was sold and converted to the Lake Erie Paper Company paper mill. On February 11", 1858 a fire consumed the mill. In 1859, William T. Upham rebuilt the site to continue as a paper mill. A brass plate located on the facade of the Paper Mill Building reads "Established 1858". The 1858 date refers to the founding of the Adams Bag Company, which offices were originally located in Cleveland.

The site growth is recorded on Sanborn Maps dating from 1889 to 1951. The Sanborn Maps show buildings on either side of Cleveland Street along the north bank of the Chagrin River. A tunnel, which ran under Cleveland Street, linked the Paper Mill Building to the Paper Bag buildings. All of the buildings on the west side of Cleveland Street have been demolished. In addition, the bridge across the river has been replaced at least twice since the original iron bridge and the dam was reinforced in 1932. In 2011, work began to lower the dam. This work is being conducted by the United States Army Corps of Engineers in an effort to improve water quality of the Chagrin River Watershed.

The Paper Mill Building is a complicated complex of rooms of varying ceiling heights and construction types. They indicate growth and transformations. The brass plate on the boiler room reads established 1858. This date refers to the Adams Bag Company established date. Paper Mill buildings were construction 1858, but as noted above, those buildings were consumed by fire. William T. Upham began reconstruction in 1859, some of the existing stone walls or foundations most likely date to earlier construction on the site. The roof line indicates a series of buildings, but the irregularities of the roof line are in response to the equipment housed to serve the different functions of the paper making process. Although the building transformed over time to accommodate manufacturing changes, the overall appearance of the building remains. The exterior walls are quarried coursed rubble sandstone with terra cotta coping. Clerestory windows are employed at the roof line, to make up for the lack of light provided by the windows along the exterior walls. The roof has a rubber membrane system, except over the engine room where the roofing system is standing seam.

The Paper Mill Building lacks an academic architectural style, and most closely resembles the Romanesque style with its quarried coursed rubble sandstone exterior. The exterior lacks decoration and is simple in design. The facade, or south elevation is visible at the Boiler Room, historically noted as the Boiler House. The Boiler Room is one and half stories high with a parapet gabled roof. Terra cotta coping accents the parapet. An entry is asymmetrically offset on the north side of the parapet. A large steel industrial window was located below the brass date plate. The window has been removed and the opening has been in-filled with concrete block. This portion of the building houses the boiler unit, and the original chimney for the factory was on the north side of the building. Coal bins were also built into the north elevation as seen in historic photographs. They are currently blocked with particle board. To the south of the parapet gabled roof is a narrow band of clerestory windows. A cupola once rested above the fifth window as seen in a historic photograph. Historically a chimney was located along the north elevation above the coal bins. It was capped most likely around 1910 when the new chimney was installed. The 1910 chimney is located at the west end of this roof line. The interior walls are the exposed stone walls. The entire space is filled entirely with boiler equipment.

The 1910 chimney is located to the south of the west facade of the Paper Mill Building. The steel-reinforced concrete chimney was constructed in June of 1910. It is twelve feet in diameter at the base and tappers to an interior dimension of 6' in diameter. It is 182' tall. The cast-iron access door at the base reads "The Weber Chimney Company Chicago 1910".

The room south of the Boiler Room is the Machine Room. The room measures 130 x 44 ft and has sixteen windows along the south elevation. It rests on a bedrock foundation. The windows along the south elevation were originally a 1/1 double hung sash, but have been bricked and glass-blocked in, to accommodate the 100 year flood line. The space is two-story in height with the perimeter walls exposed stone. Steel posts, incased in concrete, have been installed to replace most likely rotted wood posts from years of flooding and excess humidity. They support hand hewn wood trusses. Sometime prior to 1903 the roof line was changed from a lean-to roof line to a gabled. Machinery rests on concrete platforms. The floor is dirt, or more often mud.

To the east of the Machine Room is the Engine Room. The Engine Room projects approximately eight feet towards the river and is a one-story room measuring 25 x 35 ft. The windows have been blocked in with the same manner as the Machine Room. A door was converted from a window along the south elevation leading out to the river. The room is located at the base of the Dam and the head race leading form the mill pond, allowing water to descend from the pond into the engine room through a water turbine and exit through the arched tail race located in the southeast corner of the paper machine room. Both the Machine Room and Engine Room exterior walls have been painted.

To the north of the Machine Room are three levels making up the original Beater Rooms; the height required for the tanks. Post and beam construction prevails, however the tops of post vary in style indicating change over the years due to equipment installations. A cast iron beam with a half moon repeating pattern flange is located sporadically throughout the Beater Room spaces. Hand hewn wood post and beams support varying roof lines and angles. Knee walls have been added above beams to accommodate change in ceiling heights. Truss and roof decking demonstrated constant repair, in some cases due in part to fires, but most often due for the need to remove and install equipment. The west wall of the Beater room is expressed on the exterior in the same quarried coursed rubble sandstone capped with terra cotta coping, although a portion is hidden behind a poorly constructed lean-to shack.

The final room is the Bleaching Room. It is to the north of the Beater Room and is an open space with two steel posts supporting wooden beams. A fire in the space required the construction of a new roof. An historic photograph demonstrates a much different roof line, which had a dormer and a high walled parapet. The exposed stone walls have arched lintel windows along the east elevation. The floor was also raised in this area as indicated by the poured concrete flooring and ramping. A bridge connects to the No. 1 Warehouse. Below the bridge an arched opening leads into cavernous spaces that include the Rotary Cooker Room. One of the Stock Boilers remains intact.

The 1923 brick Office Building was designed by most likely a company engineer, the architect is unknown, in the Commercial Style. The building construction was initiated by Edward and Kenneth Allen when the company decided to move the executive offices from downtown Cleveland to Chagrin Falls. The fire-proof office building is two stories in height on the west facade. It is directly connected to the Machine Room at the lower level. The building original ran directly along Cleveland Street, just north of the bridge, but the street and the bridge have relocated westerly, providing some breathing room for the building. The foundation rests on the bedrock foundation. The symmetrical facade consists of nine bays of paired 1/1 double hung Williams windows which could pivot in. A rectangular brick pattern work is located in the spandrel of the bays. The projecting lintel at the cornice has been chiseled off. The brick color is a speckled buff, but has been painted a cream color. The front entry has a simple stone surround. The original double doors were accented with side lights and a transom above. Historically, the windows were adorned with awnings. The south elevation is three bays wide with paired 1/1 double hung windows. The south elevation is three stories in height, with the river bed directly adjacent to the building. The flat roof is surrounded by a parapet of sandstone. The building housed the President's Office, Superintendents' and Engineers' offices, a testing laboratory, wash rooms, a dining room and kitchen and additional administrative and executive offices. The interior of the building had plastered walls and ceilings with trim work typical of a 1920s office building, including transoms and wainscoting. Historic images of the President and Vice President's offices show carpeting and steam radiators with covers. The building had a sprinkler system. The interior of the building has suffered from neglect and vandalism. All the plaster work has fallen off the walls and ceiling revealing the fire-proof tile construction. The decorative wood banister that runs from the first floor to the second floor is the only interior finish work that remains.

In 1882 a brick arched tunnel six feet wide and nine feet high ran 73' from the basement of the Office building under Cleveland Street into the Bag Factory located to the west. The Tunnel was incorporated into the construction of the basement of the Office building when it was constructed in 1923. The Tunnel was truncated when the Sack Building was demolished in 1991. The Tunnel access from the west side of the basement wall of the Office building remain intact, however, the original length has been shortened considerably.

In 1842 Aaron Bliss and John Mayhew constructed the dam and the mill pond to take advantage of the water power of the Chagrin River. The Dam was built at a height of 14 feet 4 inches. The Farmers and Mechanics Journal reporting in 1842 described it as a "semi-circle arched upstream. And is truly a splendid and impossible piece of masonry. They will use three runs of stone, and be able to do as much business, as is done any mill in the west..." The dam is depicted in Jehu Brainard's woodcut dated 1846. The arch dam is curved upstream so as to transmit the major part of the water load to the abutments, which allows a portion of the water to be channeled for power. The Dam lasted until 1878, when in the early morning of September 13", after a season of incessant rain, the Adams Co. sounded the whistle alerting the Village to the impending flood. The Dam at what was now the Adams Bag Company Paper Mill failed sending a torrent of water down the river toward the Village.

The dam was rebuilt using the configuration and earthen works of the 1842 dam. The core wall was replaced as described below, but the bulkhead, channel and berm most likely were reinforced using what remained of the original material and bedrock. The Exponent reported on October 31st, 1878, that a new dam at the Adams Company had recently been completed and "is the best ever built in this place. The piers stronger than before, and the whole structure a great improvement over the old one." The 1880 U.S. Census reported the height of the fall of the new dam as "22 ft." At this time, a Leffel water turbine powered the Mill.

In 1886 the water was drained from the pond, and the Dam was repaired. The Dam survived the great flood of 1913. In June of 1931, a "cloudburst" caused the river to crest at just 12 inches under the 1913 record. During the 1931 episode, an estimated four feet of water went over the Dam and "the rapid flow of water worked its way down behind the dam on the south side and tore a large hole in it." By August of 1931 the Adams Bag Company awarded the bid to construct a new Dam to Hecker-Moon Company of Cleveland. The plans called for a vertical concrete dam built in front of the present old dam with no spill way," at a cost of about $6,000. "It was necessary for the Company to build a new face using the old dam for the back form."

The Dam is an extensive stone and concrete embankment structure extending along and parallel to the east side of the Mill building. The Dam creates the Lower Paper Mill Pond. The Dam spillway, over which water from the pond flows, is created by arched stone and reinforced concrete construction of 120 ft. in length, 23.1 ft. in height and 3ft. in width, above a 6-7 ft. high natural falls. The spillway potion of the Dam is located to the southeast of the engine room.

In 1842 Aaron Bliss and John Mayhew constructed the dam and the mill pond to take advantage of the water power of the Chagrin River. The Lower Paper Mill Pond is located just east of the Paper Mill Building.

A water channel and steel pipe aqueduct one-half mile in length was constructed for the Adams Bag Company in 1913 by the Cleveland Construction Company. The water from the upper mill pond at Whitesburg, east of the paper mill, was transported via a four foot in diameter pipe placed along the bank of the river to the lower mill pond at the Adams Bag Company. The new aqueduct would furnish an additional 300hp to the paper mill. The pipe was made of steel boiler plate tubing, a quarter of an inch thick, coated on both sides with asphalt to protect against corrosion. Concrete abutments were constructed to prevent failure. A 40 ft. wide earthen water channel measuring approximately 400 ft. in length and 5 ft. in depth leads water from the former site of the upper mill pond southwest to a concrete abutment 70 ft. in width. At the concrete abutment are engineering controls which open and closed the channel regulating water entering the steel pipe located on the north side of the abutment. The Aqueduct continues beyond the abutment to the southwest through a four foot wide steel pipe leading the water to the Paper Mill. The remaining steel pipe has corroded and remnants of an asphalt coating remain. The water channel continues to carry water; however, water no longer travels through the pipe portion of the Aqueduct due to corrosion. The pipe can be seen during dry periods, and is most often underwater at the Mill end of the pipe.

The date of the High Street Stone Retaining Wall is circa 1906. The wall employs the same quarried coursed rubble sandstone seen through out the complex buildings and has two buttress walls for reinforcement. The wall has received concrete reinforcing as well. The wall holds the earth work that makes up the bank of High Street. The wall is over 400 ft. long.

The Warehouse was originally two separate warehouses; No. 1 and No. 2. No. 1 Warehouse construction date is unknown. Sanborn maps indicate as early as 1889 that a Warehouse was located in the area of No.1 Warehouse. An article in the Exponent of 1892 report that the rope warehouse was raised 7ft. to provide for a storeroom underneath; foundations of the existing No.1 Warehouse are a combination of stone and concrete block. This portion of the warehouse is approximately 175 feet by 25 feet. The exterior south wall appears to have historic structural members however the exterior wall is replacement material. In addition, the entire north wall was removed when Warehouses No. 1 and No. 2 were combined under a single roof. A good portion of the roof has an historic truss system, although knee walls and tie rods have been added, most likely when the north wall was removed and the two buildings were combined. The floor is concrete where it exists.

The west end of No. 2 Warehouse construction dates to 1906, an article in the Exponent of August of 1906 reads carpenters commenced work on "the big warehouse". The Retaining Wall makes up the north wall. The south wall of the 1906 portion of No. 2 Warehouse was completely removed when it was combined under the same roof as Warehouse No. 1. No. 2 Warehouse also exhibits historic wood roof trusses at the west end of the Warehouse. When the two Warehouses were combined, steel posts with concrete bases were added to support the roof. No. 2 Warehouse continues eastwardly, and the truss system is iron. This portion of the Warehouse was most likely constructed in 1930s after the property was acquired by the Chase Bag Company, outside the period of significance. The Exponent reports that the Warehouse "will have special machinery for manufacturing cement bags." The warehouse measuring 65 x 140 ft, was built by the H. K. Ferguson Company of Cleveland, as a one story steel frame construction on concrete foundation. The south wall of the 1930s portion is concrete block. The roof has collapsed in recent years. A three-story machine shop was located at the west end as indicated on the Sanborn maps and depicted in historic photographs. The west dock was added in 1982 in roughly this location.

Adams Bag Company Paper Mill and Sack Factory, Chagrin Falls Ohio View of complex from south side of Chagrin River looking north from Mill Pond at top of Dam (1900)
View of complex from south side of Chagrin River looking north from Mill Pond at top of Dam (1900)

Adams Bag Company Paper Mill and Sack Factory, Chagrin Falls Ohio View of Paper Mill Boiler House Building, looking east (1925)
View of Paper Mill Boiler House Building, looking east (1925)

Adams Bag Company Paper Mill and Sack Factory, Chagrin Falls Ohio View of Office Building, looking northeast from south side of Chagrin River and Cleveland Street bridge (1925)
View of Office Building, looking northeast from south side of Chagrin River and Cleveland Street bridge (1925)

Adams Bag Company Paper Mill and Sack Factory, Chagrin Falls Ohio View of Mill Yard, looking east. The corner of the Bag Factory Building, which faced the Office Building is at the right, the Warehouse No.1 at the left (1925)
View of Mill Yard, looking east. The corner of the Bag Factory Building, which faced the Office Building is at the right, the Warehouse No.1 at the left (1925)

Adams Bag Company Paper Mill and Sack Factory, Chagrin Falls Ohio The Rotary Cooking Room, showing the Stock Boilers where rope fibers were cooked and prepared for the beaters (1925)
The Rotary Cooking Room, showing the Stock Boilers where rope fibers were cooked and prepared for the beaters (1925)

Adams Bag Company Paper Mill and Sack Factory, Chagrin Falls Ohio The Beater Room, where rope fibers and other fibers were beaten, washed and in some cases bleached and colored (1925)
The Beater Room, where rope fibers and other fibers were beaten, washed and in some cases bleached and colored (1925)

Adams Bag Company Paper Mill and Sack Factory, Chagrin Falls Ohio The discharge end showing some of the Heavy Duty Tubers for the paper bag production (1925)
The discharge end showing some of the Heavy Duty Tubers for the paper bag production (1925)

Adams Bag Company Paper Mill and Sack Factory, Chagrin Falls Ohio The Printing Department, a battery of Rotary and Flat Bed Presses for high-grade bag printing (1925)
The Printing Department, a battery of Rotary and Flat Bed Presses for high-grade bag printing (1925)

Adams Bag Company Paper Mill and Sack Factory, Chagrin Falls Ohio The President's Office, the corner office overlooked the Dam and the Mill Pond (1925)
The President's Office, the corner office overlooked the Dam and the Mill Pond (1925)

Adams Bag Company Paper Mill and Sack Factory, Chagrin Falls Ohio The Chemical Laboratory, where chemicals are tested out, paper making fibers and combinations, and examined under a microscope for uniformity, quality and color, records of competitors' paper recorded for future references (1925)
The Chemical Laboratory, where chemicals are tested out, paper making fibers and combinations, and examined under a microscope for uniformity, quality and color, records of competitors' paper recorded for future references (1925)