Strathmore Paper Mill #2 is a abandoned paper mill located in Russell, Massachusetts. The Town of Russell, which was formerly a part of Westfield’s “New Addition,” became a town in 1792. Early settlers lived close to Hazard Pond, now Russell Pond, where they operated small sawmills, tanneries, and grist mills that benefited from the area’s abundant water supply.
The town was drastically changed in 1841 when the railroad through the Berkshire Hills was opened. Industrial access to massive amounts of waterpower was made available by the railroad. Russell evolved from a small, remote rural settlement with modest lumber and grist mills to a thriving municipality with plentiful employment opportunities. One of the major additions to the town was the Strathmore Paper Mill.
The Strathmore Paper Mill was established in 1913 on the east side of the Westfield River. The paper mill essentially created its own neighborhood for its workers to live and work. Employee homes were built just down the road from the mill along Valley View Avenue. For decades, the mill produced high-quality paper for the Strathmore Company and the community was thriving. In 1994, Strathmore closed down the mill and it was put up for sale.
The 233,000 square foot building has 7.5 acres of land and direct access to the CSX rail mainline at the back of the building. The mill was sold and the new owner started the Strathmore Converting and Recycling Corporation. It was thought that the mill would be structure for such an operation. Sadly, the business never really took off and the mill was abandoned. The mill began to fall into disrepair due to aging and the many vandals who would break and set fire to sections of the building. Since the mill had not been sold to a new buyer, it just sat there vacant. In 2018, the town took possession of the mill with plans to sell the property as quickly as possible.
In 2019, the mill was put up for auction and Jacob Trudeau was the only bidder. He purchased the mill for $15,000 with the belief that it could become a great marijuana production facility due to its huge size. Soon after he purchased the mill, a large fire broke out. Trudeau reconsidered his ideas for the property given the condition of the mill. Trudeau is an expert in renovating multi-family homes and building from the ground-up, so he switched the goals for the damaged Strathmore Paper Mill. He planned to clean up and scrap the mill and then build 160 high end rental units along with 30 condos, offices, a vertical farm, restaurants, bike shop, spa/fitness center, and more. Needless to say, Jacob Trudeau was taking on an ambitious project.
A lot of pieces needed to come together to make Trudeaus dreams a reality. Sadly, several more fires occurred at the mill over the coming months and much of the plans were stalled. Ultimately, the mill was officially abandoned in 2021 and is for sale as of December 2022. It is unknown what will happen to the historic Strathmore Paper Mill #2 for now, it sits vacant.
- Year Established: 1913
- Year Abandoned: 2022 after a massive fire
- Original Function: Paper Mill
- Address: 34 Valley View Avenue
- Town: Russell
- State: Massachusetts
- GPS: Lat 42.1643763 Lng -72.8245855
- Parking notes: The mill is private property, so there is no dedicated parking area.
- Parking directions: N/A
- Location directions: HERE