Centralia Pulp and Paper Mill

3063 2nd Ave South, Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin

Location of the first pulp & paper mill on the Wisconsin River



Here the vast Wisconsin River paper industry began in 1887 when the Centralia Pulp and Water Power Company converted a saw mill into a pulp and paper mill.

The pulp mill spanned the river to the island at the site of the present hydro-electric plant. The paper mill and boiler house were located on the island. Paper finishing and shipping facilities were located just south of this marker.

Two paper machines were installed and five water-driven pulpwood grinders reduced logs to pulp. The paper mill operated until 1912 when it was destroyed by fire. The pulp mill was removed in 1920 to make room for an addition to the hydro-electric plant.

From this beginning, the Wisconsin River area now has become the largest producer of printing papers in the United States.

Erected 1962

Photo taken by J.R. Manning




In 1887, a sawmill was converted into a pulp mill at this location. It was the start of the paper industry in this area, setting the pace for the Wisconsin River to be the hardest working river in America, and today the area is the largest producer of printing paper in the United States.

Update Log 

  • August 8, 2011: Added by J.R. Manning


  • J.R. Manning - Lugnuts969 [at] gmail [dot] com