The dam located here at Rothschild was completed
in 1910, after a year of construction and several
years of planning by the Rothschild Water Power
Company. A paper mill was also finished in 1910
as part of this project, and the newly formed
Marathon Paper Company soon took over
running the dam and its six turbines that provided
the power for its entirely electrically-driven mill.

The 1920s and 1930s saw the paper mill expand
production to include Maratan (a leather tanning
chemical), Lignolite plastic, and Vanillin (synthetic
vanilla). All of these products were produced using
the waste products created in the paper-making
process. During the 1940s, plastic made of mill by-
products even found its way into submarines and
other military equipment. In 1944, the Marathon
Paper Company was renamed to Marathon
Corporation to reflect the company’s new,
widened product line and its introduction of a
chemical division. Products of this new division
included a synthetic rubber dispersant and
Maracarb, a cattle feed additive.

In 1957, Marathon Paper was acquired by the
American Can Company. The following year saw
major upgrades to the plant, which until that
point was still operating with mostly original 1910
equipment. American Can operated the mill for
16 years before the operations were sold to
Weyerhaeuser in 1973. Weyerhaeuser continued
to improve the facilities, including building a more
environmentally friendly boiler plant, installing a
wastewater treatment facility and in the 1980s the
first use of computerized control systems.

The Canadian pulp and paper company Domtar
purchased the Rothschild paper mill in 2007.
Domtar has continued to produce high quality
commercial printing paper, while also continuing
the tradition of finding creative uses for the
industrial byproducts of the papermaking
process—such as its partnership with WE
Energies to build a biomass power plant on
the mill property in 2013.