The Great Depression halted Georgetown’s timber industry, but recovery began to emerge in 1936 when International Paper Company built a plant along the Sampit River.
By 1942 this plant had become the largest kraft paper mill in the world. The kraft process is stronger than other paper-making processes. It results in more durable materials which can be used in packaging. During World War II, the mill played a major role by producing packaging for soldiers’ rations.
The mill received a complete overhaul in 1983 and is currently a worldwide provider of baby diapers, personal health care products, stationery, and heavier stock like manila folders and index cards. It remains one of the country’s largest mills and produces an impressive 632,000 tons of paper product per year. The mill is Georgetown County‘s second largest private employer with 700 workers.