Tannery Island Paper Mill

The village of Carthage lies in the Town of Wilna in Jefferson County. Before it was named Carthage it was known as Long Falls.

Around 1800 Jean Baptiste Bossuot, a French immigrant, started a ferry service on the west bank of Black River where West Carthage is now. In 1806 David Coffeen built a hydraulic grist mill near that location, and in 1913 Azra Church built the first bridge, a toll bridge, between Carthage and West Carthage for Russell Atwater and David Parish. This put Bossuot out of business.

In 1834 Joseph C. Budd , William Bones and Benjamin Bently built a blast furnace and started making small iron implements while Henry D. Cadwell opened a general store in what is now West Carthage. Population and business expansion around this time rapidly increased.

Mills and factories were built along the Black River in Carthage, as well as on the islands (at one time there were 29, to see a drawing of the islands during the 1880's see Great Carthage Fire of 1884).

Carthage has had it's share of fires. In 1861 fire destroyed twenty buildings in the village, and another fire destroyed more later in the year. Another smaller fire in 1872 destroyed more buildings. In 1884 a great fire swept through the village's industrial areas and some of it's residential (see description, photo of the aftermath, and drawing of area burned during the fire at Great Carthage Fire of 1884). And in 1899 another fire destroyed about nine buildings downtown. In 2002 the same buildings burned again, drawing out all of the fire departments in the area (see Carthage Fire of 2002). Some have called Carthage “The Town That Would Not Die”.

Guyot Island Planing Mill
Furnace Island Iron Works

  • carthage.txt
  • Last modified: 2018/12/06 17:16
  • (external edit)