East Millinocket Man Admits Money Smells Nothing Like a Paper Mill

East Millinocket — A former mill worker busted a myth comparing the smell of paper mills with the smell of money.

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“They’re completely different smells,” Eric Golieb said. “For years we always said ‘smells like money to me,’ but I don’t know what we were even thinking.”

Golieb once worked at the Great Northern Paper mill, the recently shuttered mill and employer of over 200 workers.

United States currency is made of cotton and linen, giving it a subtle, almost sweet smell unlike anything resembling the pungent, piercing odor of a fully operational paper mill.

For years, when someone from out of town would comment on the unique aroma, residents would fire back that it “smelled like money,” something Golieb now admits was simply not true.

“I remember the smell of the mill. It was not a good smell,” he said.

Unfortunately, memories of the smell of the paper mill are fading fast in this town. In many cases, such colloquialisms turn into agreed-upon facts with the passage of time.

Golieb doesn’t think such an occurrence will happen to the people of East Millinocket.

“People won’t link the smell of paper mills to the smell of money for much longer,” he told us.

“Everyone’s forgetting what it smelled like, and it’s not easy to get your hands on money if you feel like having a sniff.”

“To be honest, money would smell pretty great right about now.”

On Maine’s coast, lobstermen report rotten bait still smells like money, however.


3 thoughts on “East Millinocket Man Admits Money Smells Nothing Like a Paper Mill”

  1. I was going up US 201 very early Tuesday morning on the way to Jackman. As my co-worker and I passed the Sappi mill, he commented on the smell. I answered with the old chestnut,”Smells like money to me”. My father worked in paper his entire working life, and it WAS the smell of money. The odor is nowhere near as pungent as in the 1970’s when you could smell the Jay IP mill in Mt. Vernon, if the wind was right. The Androscoggin river also looked like a sheet of floating bacon colored foam back then too…

  2. song by Bill Scott

    We are mill town folks from western maine.
    In mill town bars we’d spend our days.
    We used to drink more BUD than any town could.
    But now we do our BUDS in a different way.

    When the mill closed down, we were out of work.
    Our little town was almost broke.
    So we planted us some seeds and grew some fine weeds.
    We dried them out and sold them for smoke.

    When the mill closed down, it was a lonesome town
    in Rumford USA.
    But we will survive, don’t criticize us folks from Western Maine.

    We heard the government say it would be okay,
    As long as we grew it in a medical way.
    It shouldn’t be hard, just get a medical card
    and a piece of ground and you’ll be on your way.

    So we made a proposal to the mill today,
    For their pulp digesters and some open space.
    Take those machines and yard them
    and grow a hydro-ponic garden
    in the bowels of the old New Page.

    (Bridge 2)
    There is a new page turning in the town these days.
    The mill is producing in a different way.
    Thank the lord and the medical card
    for the crops of Western Maine.

    So the mill came around and gave us some ground.
    And helped us save our little town.
    Use the name New Page people
    To help your product get around.

    Now the New Page brand of recreational hemp
    Became noted for it’s remarkable strength
    They thought we were making rope
    But it turned out to be dope
    That was helping our economy.
    (bridge 2)

    My wife came home from a ride today.
    She said the town sure smells like SKUNK these days.
    I said don’t worry honey, that’s the smell of money.
    From the stacks of old New Page.

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