The photos on this page are from Mill Island across from
Felts Mills, Jefferson County. To see a labeled map of the area and the
island, as well as pictures from the dams and bridges near the island, refer to
Most of the ruins and artifacts on this page are from the northwestern side of
the island, and the western tip (where the bridge and mill were).
Likely sometime in the future (rumor)
a new dam system will be built across the north channel and extend across the
south channel, thus partly covering some sections of the island with a new power
For photos of another mill nearby closer to Great Bend go to
Old photo of the papermill as it looked when running.
Please see this page
for more info about the mill.
Jack S writes "This is a carthage grinder. It was used to grind pulpwood into
wood pulp in a papermill. The 'rollers' that you see in the abandoned paper mill
pictures were inside this castiron machine. Wood was loaded in the pockets as
seen on the left, the door was closed and the lever pulled to actuate the
hydraulic cylinder which forced the wood against the grind stone. Water was
sprayed against the stone to keep the wood from burning. Wood and water mixed,
came out the bottom and was called slush, this went through a series of screens
to remove slivers, then to the beaters to make the fibers finer, then onto the
paper machine. If only wood fiber was used it was a solid wood sheet; an example
of that would be the old fashioned milk bottle caps. For other sheets it was
mixed with other fibers, chemicals, dies, and waste paper."
On 6/8/2021 Scannerman writes "It looks like a steel plate went up and down to control the amount of water entering to the turbines/water wheels."
P. writes: "If you do
take a close look you can see that it is some kind of steam radiator, most
likely for that mill. I would hate to try to move it. I have to say that it is a
work of art compared to the cheap stuff they fabricate today."
12/1/2020 Bruce Christman writes about the bridge supports - "I was in Felts Mills, NY in November, 2020. It appears that the river won and the supports are now all gone. I have been coming up to Felts Mills starting in 1982 when they had a bridge that went to the Island and several houses on it and I knew then that one bridge collapsed in 65. Years later the houses and only old bridge left was gone. Now the 1800 bridge supports are gone too."