New Photo of Passumpsic Mill

A summer or two ago, I purchased several 5×4″ glass dry plate negatives from a dealer. He had approximately 200 slides, but I only purchased several showing the aftermath of the 1904 fire–basically I purchased pictures of something that was no longer there. It was difficult to examine the plates without a light box, but I also selected one that I thought showed the valley and might show the mill. Now that I’ve scanned it, I’ve discovered that it’s an excellent image of the mill from a different angle. I don’t know the exact date of the photo, but I believe it was taken around 1900. Curiously, the mill does not appear to have its two-tone paint job.

Elmore and Cynthia Ide Family Portrait

Elmore and Cynthia Ide family portrait
Elmore and Cynthia Ide family portrait

Elmore and Cynthia Ide’s family portrait circa 1895. From top left:

Henry Clay Ide II, 1869 – 1907. Henry was a physician who died young due to heart problems.

Fanny Knight Ide (Sprague), 1876-1942. Fanny was an artist and illustrator and married Oliver M. W. Sprague, a Harvard University professor of economics.

George Peabody Ide, 1867-1967. George was a very successful businessman, although he almost bankrupted his father in the process.

Katharine Darling Ide (Gray), 1863-1950. Katharine was a founder of Maple Grove Farms and married George M. Gray, who joined the business in 1888 and was instrumental in building it.

Mary Ellen Ide (Gates), 1871-1963. Mary Ellen was the second wife of Charles Winslow Gates, who was Governor of Vermont from 1915-1917.

William Adams Ide, 1881-1957. William Adams succeeded E. T. Ide in the presidency of E. T. & H. K. Ide.

Elmore Timothy Ide, 1839 – 1923.

Cynthia Lois Adams Ide, 1844-1916. Cynthia was the only child of William and Mary Felch Adams.

Trucks loaded with Ide Feed at St. Johnsbury mill.

St. Johnsbury Mill in 1953

This large image shows the St. Johnsbury plant with a steam engine moving boxcars along the siding. An alternate image taken minutes apart was used in Millers for Five Generations, so it can be dated to 1953 or earlier. Note that in the alternate image, the logo on the side of the elevator has been edited. The days of steam were drawing to a close and this once-proud engine was relegated to switchyard work. The large format negative is highly detailed and I was able to extract a few interesting vignettes.


A collection of billhead receipts showing changing styles throughout the years. The 1898 “locomotive” version is the most ornate and impressive, so I have added a detail view that has been enhanced. The original was difficult to scan because it apparently used a stipple printing technique.

Passumpsic Mill c. 1850

Passumpsic Mill c. 1850
Passumpsic Mill c. 1850

This sailboat in a circle stampbox on the back of this postcard dates it to 1905-1908, but the image itself is known to be older because this mill was destroyed by fire in 1883. The fire started in an adjoining pulp mill which is not visible in this photo; it’s possible that it’s hidden due to the angle, but it’s a large building and that leads me to conclude that this photo pre-dates the construction of the pulp mill. It certainly appears more rustic than the 1865 photo, but that may be due to its condition. Another version can be seen on a Northeast Kingdom Genealogy page.