The Atlas Paper Company, 425 W. Water St., Appleton, Wis., served by the Milwaukee & Northern (M&N), et al.

The original Atlas Paper Co. paper mill, 425 W. Water St., Appleton, Wis., was built in 1878. At the same time, they constructed a pulp mill on the opposite side of the Fox River. They erected a bridge across the river to connect the two mills. The paper mill was served by the Milwaukee & Northern (M&N) and Milwaukee, Lake Shore & Western (MLS&W) on the north side, as well as the Chicago & North Western (C&NW) on the south side. The paper mill burned down on 8 June 1888. Construction of a new paper mill (the current mill) began immediately; it was completed and producing paper again by October of that year. The facility was purchased by Kimberly-Clark Corp. (K-C) in 1907. The mill ceased operation ca. 1999, the year K-C donated it to the Paper Industry International Hall of Fame. After some of the additions were razed, the Hall of Fame opened its new home and its interactive museum, the Paper Discovery Center, on 26 February 2005.

An interesting article from the Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wis.), 24 May 1883.

The article at left, headlined “Railroad Rumpus,” from the Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wis.), 24 May 1883, describes a heated moment in the rivalry between the Milwaukee & Northern (M&N) and the Milwaukee, Lake Shore & Western (MLS&W) at the Atlas Paper Co. mill in ‘The Flats’ at Appleton, Wis. I wonder if the reporter had the two railroads confused. The Sanborn maps depict one spur coming off of the M&N rails, instead of the MLS&W. Some of those maps do depict a crossover from the MLS&W to the M&N, which could have enabled the MLS&W to service the Atlas Paper Co. via the M&N spur.

Looking northeast toward ‘The Flats’ from the S. Memorial Dr. bridge at Appleton, Wis., on 4 April 2020. The Canadian National (CN), former Chicago & North Western, originally Milwaukee, Lake Shore & Western (MLS&W), rails can be seen at left. The northeast abutment of the Milwaukee & Northern (M&N) bridge over the Fox River was at the far left of this scene. Their rails, part of their Appleton Branch, ran parallel and to the right of the MLS&W. The historic Atlas Paper Co. paper mill, 425 W. Water St., Appleton, Wis., dominates the background. In the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, the Atlas mill would not have been visible from this perspective, three other paper mills used to stand on this side of it. They were, from front to rear, the Appleton Pulp & Paper Co., the Tioga Paper Mill, and the Vulcan Paper Mill. Photograph by Tom Bruss.

Looking southeast from W. Prospect Ave. toward the intersection of S. Jackman St. and W. Water St. in ‘The Flats’ at Appleton, Wis., on 4 Apr. ’20. The Canadian National (CN), former Chicago & North Western (C&NW), originally Milwaukee, Lake Shore & Western (MLS&W), rails bisect the scene. The Milwaukee & Northern (M&N) rails, part of their Appleton Branch, ran parallel along the other side of the MLS&W. The historic Atlas Paper Co. paper mill, 425 W. Water St., Appleton, Wis., dominates the scene. Photograph by Tom Bruss. An early 20th Century photograph of this mill, captured from the same perspective, can be seen at the Wisconsin Historical Society’s web site.

A Canadian National (CN) local, led by IC 3129, parallels W. Water St. as it passes the historic Atlas Paper Co. mill, 425 W. Water St., in ‘The Flats’ at Appleton, Wis., on 1 June 2019. These are former Chicago & North Western (C&NW), originally Milwaukee, Lake Shore & Western (MLS&W), rails. The Milwaukee & Northern (M&N) rails, part of the Appleton Branch, ran parallel to the left of the MLS&W. Photograph by Tom Bruss

A Canadian National (CN) local, led by CN 9673, passes the historic Atlas Paper Co. mill, 425 W. Water St., in ‘The Flats’ at Appleton, Wis., on 2 July 2014. These are former Chicago & North Western (C&NW), originally Milwaukee, Lake Shore & Western (MLS&W), rails. The Milwaukee & Northern (M&N) rails, part of the Appleton Branch, ran parallel along the other side of the MLS&W. Photograph by Tom Bruss.