Ecusta property, before construction

Plant To Locate on Davidson River Site” was the banner headline for the May 5,
1938 Transylvania Times.  According to the press release the Ecusta
Paper Corporation had purchased approximately 225 acres to construct a plant to
manufacture cigarette papers.  It was to
be the first of its kind in the United States. 
Previously almost all high quality cigarette papers were made in France.  The plant would use raw materials from the
United States to produce the paper.

company had spent several months evaluating sites to locate the new plant,
including three within Transylvania County. 
An “abundant quantity of virgin mountain water of the purest quality”
was the deciding factor in selecting the Davidson River location.

Early construction

the next 15 months over 1000 workers were employed in the construction of 17 plant
buildings and a large office building. 
Buildings included a raw products warehouse, machine and carpentry shop,
a main building with four paper production machines and a finished product
warehouse.  There was also a 225-foot
high brick smokestack and four water tanks. 
The office building was two-story with a basement and boasted of built
in air conditioning.

Construction, 1939

the Davidson River went under the bridge on the Asheville Hwy and looped north,
then swung back behind where the plant was being constructed.  This looped was diverted to provide better
access to the much needed water of the Davidson River.  A pumping station and filtration plant were
located near the river.

Davidson River 

Ecusta, 1939

the opening of the plant neared the steam whistle blew for the first time on
June 14, 1939. In July 1939 it was announced that Harry Straus was also
relocating the headquarters for both Champagne Paper Corporation and Boucher
Cork Company to Pisgah Forest.

 On September 9, 1939 a huge picnic was held at
the Pink Beds for the construction crews and new plant employees along with
local businessmen celebrating the completion of the Ecusta Paper Corporation.

Early aerial view,

 notice the tree lined loop of the river

north of the straightened section of the Davidson River.

information was taken from Transylvania
articles from May 1938 through September 1939.

Photographs and
information for this column are provided by the Rowell Bosse North Carolina
Room, Transylvania County Library.  Visit
the NC Room during regular library hours (Monday-Friday) to learn more about
our history and see additional photographs. 
For more information, comments or suggestions contact Marcy at [email protected]
or 828-884-3151 X242.

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(828) 884-3151

212 S Gaston St, Brevard, NC 28712