Blue Ridge workers hopeful after buyout

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer

In the end, the acquisition of Blue Ridge Paper Products by the New Zealand-based Rank Group for $338 million last week may have been the result of the purchase of a single factory in tiny Pine Bluff, Ark.

Champion and Blue Ridge Paper timeline

1893 — The town of Pigeon River is reincorporated by the N.C. General Assembly as Canton, N.C.

The birth of a Haywood County institution: Negotiations for the Champion Fibre Mill and Peter G. Thomson’s Labor Day Legacy

By Patrick Willis • Guest Writer

Just more than 100 years ago, Canton welcomed a man from Ohio who would change the town’s history forever.

In early 1905, an industrialist named Peter G. Thomson decided to visit Western North Carolina with the hopes of building a pulp mill and extract plant to supply his paper factories in Ohio. Thomson knew vast timber in the Southern Appalachian Mountains would greatly benefit his business.

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