George West Museum

Round Lake, NY

In 1887, on the edge of the bluff, George West constructed the George West Museum of Art and Archaeology. At the time, it was the third largest museum in the State. In 1920 it became the Round Lake School. It was eventually demolished in 1965.


Thanks to crowd sourcing, the photos below were sourced from the Facebook Group "My Upstate NY (Schenectady, Albany, Troy, Saratoga, Amsterdam and More).

George West Museum of Art and Archaeology
Postcard - courtesy of Sharon Lloyd Marshall

2nd Floor - George West Museum of Art and Archaeology
2d Floor - courtesy of Scott Rigney

Sledding at the Round lake School
Sledding at the School - courtesy of Scott Rigney

Who Was George West?

George West was a successful industriailst who made his fortune as the inventor of the folded paper bag. He was known around the world as “The Paper Bag King” – a title earned as the world’s largest manufacturer of folded paper bags. West manufactured bags from manila paper made of inexpensive jute butts from India. Thus, he was able to sell them at a much lower cost than cotton sacks. They became extremely popular, and he sold millions per week. His paper bag factory in Rock City Falls was one of the first in the country to manufacture bags with machinery.

The success of his bags compelled West to purchase or build additional paper mills. By 1880 his mills consisted of the Union, Union Bag, Island, Eagle, Pioneer, Glen (pulp), Empire, Excelsior, and Middle Grove Upper and Lower mills, all situated on the Kayaderosseras Creek in Milton.

Further Info

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