100 years strong: Paper mill marks milestone

Published 4:43 am Wednesday, January 24, 2018

On Saturday, hundreds of people took advantage of the clear, sunny skies and warm weather to take part in the celebrations at Cassidy Park marking the Bogalusa Mill’s 100th year of being in operation.

There was something for everyone to enjoy, including bounce house inflatables, face painting, and games for the kids, as well as picture booths, and food for everyone. Cadets from the Bogalusa High School Jr. ROTC program gave everybody who entered four tickets for concessions.

Bogalusa City Councilman Teddy Drummond, who is a mill employee, was spotted early at the front gate. He said, “It only comes around once every hundred years. It’s about mutual respect of the city, community and the company. They’ve put many a loaf of bread on tables over the last hundred years.”

The speakers’ program started about a half hour into the event. Each speaker only said a few words. Current Bogalusa Mill Manager Bernie Chascin started the program off by saying the local mill “is a great example of sustainability.”

He was followed by International Paper’s vice president of manufacturing, Brett Mosley. Mosley said that since IP took over the Bogalusa mill in 2012, the company has made a $400 million investment into the mill. He added that, “the hum of the mill is comforting, and I think the path to the future is good.”

Bogalusa Mayor Wendy Perrette followed Mosley, stating, “Thank you, IP, for everything you do for us.”
Washington Parish President Richard Thomas said, “The paper mill has been very good for the parish. These are concerned people who send our kids to college.”

Louisiana State Treasurer John Schroder noted that IP’s “investment is big for the state.”
State Sen. Beth Mizell said her father worked at the mill, and added, “They call Bogalusa the ‘Magic City,’ and the magic happens because of the mill.”

The magic was apparent throughout the park on Saturday, as children laughed and played, and adults relaxed under the stately trees.

State Rep. Malinda White was also scheduled to speak, but it was announced that she had the flu.