|Harrisville Paper Mill
Wharton State Forest
|Information on the old paper mill in Harrisville is almost nonexistent. But from some
sparse information I could find it seems that the mill started producing wrapping paper in
about 1832 under the ownership of William McCarty. At that time the town of Harrisville
was names McCartyville. In 1846 the mill was foreclosed on when payments could not
be made and 8 months later the town was destroyed by a fire. Then in 1851 Richard
Harris bought the property and by 1856 he was producing paper. From 1856 to 1890 the
mill was very prosperous and there paper was sold nationwide, while also having a store
in Philadelphia and in New York City. Towards the end of 1890 the company defaulted
on a loan payment and again was foreclosed on. In 1896 Joseph Wharton became
owner of the mill and it soon went into disrepair when his idea of exporting water to
Philadelphia was rejected. In 1914 a large fire destroyed Harrisville and much of the mill.
Only some of the mill which is in ruin still remains, and has been fenced off by the State
Parks System, due to the extreme hazards of entering the site. The ruins date back to
before 1900 and are very unstable.