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Troy Vermont Blairs
Submitted by Jan Jordon

by Anne Huckins Butterfield, 1977:

page 5-6 it states "In 1903-1904 Myron J. Blair, with the financial help of other people, including some of the citizens of North Troy, formed the stock company known as Blair Veneer Co. This gave employment to many people, who continued to work there after it was sold to the Owens-Illinois Co., and later to the Weyerhaeuser Co. In 1970 the mill was closed and many employees were out of work and caused a sadness over the area."

page 15 "On March 17, 1913 those present for the first recorded meeting of he bank were: M.J. Blair..."

page 16 "In March 1921 the building committee for Valley Savings Bank and Trust Company consisted of M. J. BLAIR, E.G. Gardyne and C.O. Fowler..."

page 48 "Over the years many homes have been destroyed by fire; the Currier Mansion met that fate in the early 1900s. The lot was purchased by HOLLIS W. BLAIR, who built the present house and lived there for many years, using one of the other buildings for his art studio."

page 30 "The Blair Company exports some of their products to foreign countries. Recently a shipment of chair seats left their shipping department for Columbia in South America... Many sounding board orders go to Dominion of Canada. With a firm business foundation laid by its founder, M.J. BLAIR, and continued aggressive and able management since his death in 1926, the Blair Veneer Company has forged ahead in its field and has contributed not only to the economic welfare of North Troy but directly and indirectly to all the towns in this area. Surely this is a fitting monument to its originator, MYRON BLAIR, who although born as a farmer boy in Jay (VT), rose to a commanding position in the plywood industry...In consideration of the foregoing, it is no surprise to the writer that the North Troy corporation has afforded continuous employment to its personnel during the "booms and busts" of the past 36 years."

page 91 "1924 Blair Veneer fire."

page 28 "1910 destructive fires visited the Blair interest, wiping out, in each case, the entire manufacturing establishment."

page 92 "1938 Hurricane damage heavy. The wind commenced at 6:30 pm. Damage heavy with all electricity and communication cut off. Many poplar and maple trees in the town blown down. Several homes were damaged by falling trees. Blair Veneer Plant ceased operation.

p. 38 "The large corner house presently owned by Mrs. Malcolm Johnson was built in 1910 by Myron Blair after he started the mill in the early 1900s. The site was originally a large house owned by a Mrs. Elkins and occupied by her. When Mr. Blair bought the place, the house was removed to Pleasant Street and divided into two houses, namely, the Ramsay house and the Jacobs house."

p. 55 "These two houses were moved from the corner of Pleasant and South Streets to their present location to enable Myron J. BLAIR to build his home on the site from which they were moved. The BLAIR house was occupied by the Harry Fidler family during the years Mr. Fidler was in charge of the former Blair Veneer Co..."

page 57 "Later Mr. and Mrs. GEORGE BLAIR moved down from Jay (VT) and lied there. Their son, Hollis W. BLAIR, built the house which is now the property of Mr. and Mrs. Roger Higgins. Down from the Higgins home is a large well kept home, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Norman Bailey. Years ago it was built, owned and occupied by the late ENOS J. BLAIR family, who had a connection with the Blair Veneer Mill."

page 61 "Home on corner of Cross and Pleasant Streets occupants were Mr. and Mrs. GEORGE BLAIR, MR. AND MRS. HOLLIS BLAIR..."

This is an article on the Blair Veneer Co which was written by the late Reginald T. Albee and appeared in the December 28, 1939 (?) edition of the Newport Daily Express at Newport, Vermont.
Thirty-six years ago, MYRON J. and ENOS BLAIR, brothers, organized the Blair Veneer Co. in the northern Vermont village. The partnership commenced business in a 30 x 60 two-story building. Today it has assumed a commanding position in the veneer industry in New England, being classified; reputedly, as the largest single plant devoted to the manufacture of plywood panels in this whole area. From a small struggling industry, with meager capital, it has grown to a point where its various buildings afford 150,000 square feet of manufacture space, nearly three and a half acres. The total properties of the Blair Veneer Co. are today valued in the vicinity of $1,000.00.

If the manufactured products put out during the past year were to be loaded on freight cars of 25,000 to 30,000 pounds capacity each, it would take about 400 standard railroad cars to convey the year's product to market. This would take a train some three and a half miles long, were it possible to haul it as a unit, or about ten complete train loads of 40 cars each with two locomotives for each train.

The words "business depression" have been very disconcerting and ominous ones for most England business firms, starting with the Wall Street crash of 1929, and continuing spasmodically during the past few years - but not for this industry. Here is a Vermont factory that has kept its wheels turning and its employees gainfully employed, even through the darkest days of our recent business recession. This is a fact that may not generally be known in this area and the executives of this well-founded local industry should have credit for it.

Apparently they went aggressively after business when there wasn't any, figuratively speaking, in an effort to fulfill a moral obligation which was felt to their employees and the town of Troy.

The fact that the Blair Veneer Co. operated almost full-time through even the worst days of the depression is the reason why this reported paid their plant a visit recently, to gather a bit of information about one of the pioneer veneer factories of New England..."

page 27
"The Blair Veneer Co. had a total of 15 employees in 1905; today that number has expanded to 200. In addition, the Vermont Plywood Co. of Hancock, s a subsidiary, having been built in 1923 by the local corporation. The Hancock plant employs about 125, and has a capacity about two-thirds of the factory in this town."

page 29 "Factory manufactures veneer products as chair seats, furniture panels, box shooks and bent work....piano sounding board field. Blair Factory is the only one turning out sounding boards in New England. Four years ago Blair Veneer took over the interests of the Orpin Desk Co., a standard trade name in the office furniture field: office desks, tables, stands, and typewriter stands. The Hancock mill manufactured over a million and a half Chinese checker boards in early 1939."

On page 79 it states: "Following east of the Poulin Lumber Co. building, there was a building, often called the green house, because it was painted a horrible green for many years. For awhile a creamery was located there, and then it was converted into a apartment. Beside that building there was a house occupied by a SWEET family, followed by Leon BLAIR family who lived there until their deaths."

Transcribed and Submitted by
Jan Jordon

This Website was last updated 04/05/2015

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