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Champion and Blue Ridge Paper timeline

1893 — The town of Pigeon River is reincorporated by the N.C. General Assembly as Canton, N.C.

1893 — Peter G. Thomson of Hamilton, Ohio, incorporates the Champion Coated Paper Company.

1906-07 — Construction of Champion Fibre Company in Canton, N.C.

1908 — The Champion pulp mill in Canton, N.C. begins production.

1908 — Reuben B. Robertson Sr., Peter G. Thomson’s son-in-law, becomes general manager of Champion Fibre Company in Canton.

1922 — Paper production begins at the Champion mill in Canton.

1924 — Workers at Champion in Canton strike for a three-shift day and competitive wages. After a union attempted to organize the workers, mill management promised eight-hour shifts, an adequate pay scale for those who turned in their union cards, and no repercussions.

1925 — The Champion Knight logo is used on a shipment of paper for the first time.

1931 — Peter G. Thomson, founder of Champion, dies.

1935 — The Hamilton and Canton operations are merged to form the Champion Paper and Fibre Company.

1940 — Two of the largest floods on record hit Canton and Champion within two weeks of one another. The mill is shut down for 100 hours and damage to the town is estimated at $303,000.

1946 — Reuben B. Robertson Sr. succeeds Logan G. Thomson as Champion’s president.

1950 — Reuben B. Robertson Jr. succeeds his father as the company’s president.

1960 — Reuben B. Robertson Jr. is killed in a traffic accident in Cincinnati.

1972 — The company is renamed Champion International Corporation.

1999 — The employees of the Canton mill purchase the mill and rename the company Blue Ridge Paper, Inc.

2004 — The Pigeon River floods twice as a result of Hurricanes Frances and Ivan. These floods cause close to $50 million in damages to Blue Ridge Paper and $20 million in damages to other businesses.

2006 — Workers renegotiate and pass 3-year contract to continue operations at the Blue Ridge Paper mill.

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