The S.Y. Beach Paper Company was organized by Sharon Yale Beach, a native of North Haven, Connecticut, in 1843. Beach was born on a farm but gained experience in manufacturing while working in a cotton mill in the Humphreysville section of Seymour, Connecticut. Beach was employed at the cotton factory for some 12 years, during which time he began to experiment with the production of paper. In 1843, he acquired a mill along the Bladens River in Seymour that had been in operation under various owners since 1805. Beach’s firm was immediately successful and he remained with the business until his death in 1899. The S.Y. Beach Paper Company was incorporated in 1880 after several of Beach’s sons joined the firm; the incorporators included Sharon Yale Beach and his four sons, George W., Andrew Y., Sharon D., and Theodore B. After the elder Beach’s death, George W. Beach served as president of the company, along with Theodore B. Beach as secretary, and Sharon D. Beach as treasurer and general manager. By the late 1910s, Andrew Y. Beach held the role of president, while Sharon D. Beach continued to serve as treasurer and general manager. The S.Y. Beach Paper Company ceased operations in 1927 and its plant was sold to the Pond’s Extract Company of Clinton, Connecticut. The Pond’s Extract Company was organized in Utica, New York in 1846, and moved to Chester, Connecticut in 1872, before relocating to Clinton in 1888. The company manufactured a variety of facial creams and cosmetic treatments and the former S.Y. Beach Paper Company factory was purchased after Pond’s developed a line of cleansing tissues meant to be used with its facial creams. The firm substantially expanded the Seymour plant and retained it until the mid-20th century. Around 1960 the factory was acquired by the newly-organized Slickbar Products Corporation, a firm specializing in the manufacture of oil spill containment technologies. Slickbar was sold to Finnish competitor Lamor Corporation in 2008, which maintained the plant until it moved to Milford, Connecticut in 2012.
Roughly fourteen (14) adjoining primary blocks.
ca. 1890, 1927, ca. 1965.
The former S.Y. Beach Paper Company plant is comprised of roughly fourteen primary adjoining blocks located on the south side of Beach Street, at the southeast corner of Beach Street’s intersection with North Street. The oldest portion of the plant consists of a cluster of one- and two-story brick and wood-frame blocks at the eastern end of the complex. These were erected when the original mill was substantially reconstructed ca. 1890 and they have an overall footprint of roughly 60’ x 74’. The ca. 1890 construction has red brick foundations, wood-frame or brick walls, double-hung windows set in plain openings, and gable roofs. A two-story octagonal brick tower adjoins the plant’s east elevation, however, this was built as part of alterations completed ca. 1965. A two-story, 88’ x 74’ wood-frame addition was erected adjoining the plant’s west elevation ca. 1927. This was partially built on the stone and brick foundation of a smaller, earlier block, and has wood-frame walls without window openings, and a flat roof. Three two-story concrete block additions were built adjoining the factory’s west elevation ca. 1960. Combined, these measure roughly 165’ x 62’ overall and they have concrete foundations, rectangular window openings with multi-pane metal sash, plain cornices, and flat roofs. The north elevation of the largest block is dominated by a large ribbon window that comprises the entire second story of the block’s eastern half. Smaller windows and pass-through door openings are located at the opposite end of the building and a loading dock is situated at the rear of the southwest corner of the plant.
The complex is in fair condition. Although many of the plant’s exterior walls have been sided with vinyl, the mill appears to be structurally sound. The original windows in the earliest portion of the plant have been replaced.
One legal parcel (10-18 Beach Street) totaling 3.78 acres located on the south side of Beach Street, at the southeast corner of Beach Street’s intersection with North Street.
Lucas A. Karmazinas