The waterfall in front of you spans only half of its original width. The left half disappeared long ago into Ticonderoga Pulp and Paper Company (later, International Paper Company) penstocks. The remainder of the waterfall fed both the American Graphite Company and the Horicon Iron Works on the north shore of the River.
Such sharing of was common practice because mills on opposite banks needed to run simultaneously. In fact, water rights (or "riparian rights") were among the first legal issues raised in a new township. In this case, the island wasn't in the middle of the stream, so a partition dam was constructed to split flow of the River right down the middle.
American Graphite Company and Horicon Iron Works shared the rights for their half of the river, probably because the owner in of the Iron Works was one of the original founders of American Graphite Company in 1862. The graphite mill refined ore from local mines from 1863 until 1921, when the mines in Hague closed, then processed imported graphite ore until 1968.
- Photograph captions -
In 1917, M. Y. Ferris drew this survey map of a transfer of land between Ticonderoga Pulp and Paper Company and the Joseph Dixon Crucible Company. By that time, the power company needed the land to the east of the graphite mill for the disposal
of black ash left over from the papermaking process.
The American Graphite Company mill (number 19) was built in 1863. When it burned in 1890, a new mill promptly replaced it. When that mill burned in 1968, Dixon donated the land to the Town. The tailrace that carried water back into the River is still visible as a shallow ditch on the opposite shore.
Joseph Dixon Crucible Company bought out the American Graphite Company in 1873, the same year they began to make pencils in their main plant in New Jersey. This "Ticonderoga Flake Graphite" was mixed with grease of oil to improve lubrication of bearings or gears in all kinds of machinery.