Finch, Pruyn and Company was founded in 1865 when Jeremiah and Daniel Finch, along with Samuel Pruyn, purchased the Glens Falls Company mill in Glens Falls, New York. In 1880, the company purchased its first Adirondack tract, more than 13,000 acres, and quickly accumulated well over 100,000 acres of Adirondack forestland, becoming the largest lumber business on the Hudson River. They were one of several forest product companies that owned and managed large tracts of Adirondack land before the creation of the New York State Forest Preserve in 1885, and the establishment of the Adirondack Park in 1892. The company was incorporated in 1900 and paper production began in 1905 and still continues to this day. The last river drive carrying logs from the Adirondack Mountains down the Hudson River occurred in 1950. In 2007, the company was renamed Finch Paper LLC under new owners. The company then sold 161,000 acres of its Adirondack lands to the Nature Conservancy.
Scope of Collection
The Finch, Pruyn map collection includes approximately 400 maps, dating from 1829 through 1974, that document land ownership and timber harvesting throughout the region that would become the Adirondack Park. Created and used by the company in the course of its lumbering operation, the maps show (in great detail) not only the geography of one of the nation's largest wild areas, but also how that environment was exploited for its natural resources in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The maps indicate private property ownership, land held by the state, planned and implemented development of the land, and details on tree harvests, including types of trees cut, locations of lumber camps, and logging roads to move felled trees to waterways for transport to mills downriver. The Adirondack Experience also holds the business records of Finch, Pruyn and Company; contact the librarian for more information on this collection.