Century-old Ti — Graphite mine closes

This is the latest in a series of posts about news reported a century ago in the Ticonderoga Sentinel.

“Fred Doolittle thought last week that it was nearly summer time. He picked a large dandelion blossom, quite early for the season, the Graphite correspondent quipped in the April 21, 1921 issue of the Ticonderoga Sentinel.

No doubt, the whimsical mood in the hamlet evaporated on April 19 when the American Graphite Co. posted notices that its mine would be closed April 30.

The company had previously imposed a 15 percent pay cut on workers March 12.

“The industrial stagnation that reigns through out the country has finally struck the little village of Graphite,” the Sentinel reported. “Just how long the mine will be down is not known. In the neighborhood of two hundred men are affected.”

The last shut down was in 1896, when the mine was closed for about six months.

Meanwhile, as expected, unionized employees at the Ticonderoga International Paper Co. mill on April 17, by a nearly unanimous vote, rejected a company contract offer that would significantly cut wages, setting the stage for a strike on May 1.

IP was part of a coalition of about 20 paper companies in United States and Canada that was collectively seeking to cut wages 30 percent, eliminate extra pay for overtime, extend the standard work day from eight to nine hours, and remove yard workers from the contract.

In other April 21, 1921 Ticonderoga Sentinel news:

R.J. Bolton, owner of the Trout House hotel in Hague, began construction of a two-story building on the hotel property that would house a store and ice cream parlor on the first floor and a motion picture hall on the second floor.

The Ticonderoga High School baseball team defeated Port Henry 16–2 on April 15 and Crown Point 9–1 on April 16. Both games were at home.

Parents of Helen Andrews of Crown Point Center gave the daughter “a wee dear mouse” as a 12th birthday present.

“It is about 1 1/2 inches long and drinks milk from a teaspoon and is the cunningest thing in all the world when it sets up and washes its wee paws.”

Musician E.E. Wood, who was well known in Ticonderoga, signed a one-year recording contract with Victor Phonograph. Wood, who played saxophone and xylophone, was a relative of Mrs. T.B. Wood of Ticonderoga.

About 50 members of the Ticonderoga Elementary School Fifth Grade Health Club hiked to Cold Spring.

Ethan Allen Lodge, №630, of the International Order of Odd Fellows was preparing to celebrate its 29th anniversary and a mortgage burning on May 13.

“On that day the lodge will find itself free of debt as far as its eloquent temple is concerned, and it is proposed to celebrate the occasion with appropriate exercises in the evening.”

The lodge had borrowed $6,000 — the equivalent of $176,585 in 2021dollars — when the structure was built in 1906.

“As a result of persistent and earnest effort on the part the members, of whom there are now about two hundred forty, the building debt will be entirely wiped out, and, as one Odd Fellow proudly puts it, ‘We can now say that we own as well as occupy our home.’”

Click here to read the most recent previous post in the series.

Freelance history writer and documentary film producer from Ticonderoga, NY