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Smokestack toppled at former paper mill

The historic smokestack at the shuttered Gilbert Paper Mill is demolished Jan. 5, 2014. in Menasha, Wis. The smokestack that was erected in 1887 was razed to make way for a new development. (AP Photo/The Post-Crescent, Wm. Glasheen)

The historic smokestack at the shuttered Gilbert Paper Mill is demolished Sunday in Menasha. The smokestack that was erected in 1887 was razed to make way for a new development. (AP Photo/The Post-Crescent, Wm. Glasheen)

APPLETON, Wis. (AP) — The smokestack at the former Gilbert Paper Co. mill in Menasha had stood tall since 1887. Until now.

A demolition contractor toppled the smokestack Sunday morning to make way for new development as a small crowd braved the cold to watch.

Memories flooded back for Helmer “Butch” Grondahl as he watched the demolition. He tells Post-Crescent Media he worked there for 35 years. He says the smokestack welcomed people to work and said goodbye as they left.

Edmund Jelinski and Tom Chalchoff own the site. Jelinski said they will spend the next year or two preparing it for mixed-use development.

A trail will grace a portion of the former mill’s riverfront. Mayor Don Merkes said the city received a grant to offset costs, and construction will start in 2014.

Information from: Post-Crescent Media, http://www.postcrescent.com

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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