Pyrites lies between Canton, Hermon, and Russell. The Grasse river runs through it. A drive through the area gives you a small glimpse of the towns former stature. It started as a mining town, in the 1830’s, gaining its name from the pyrite mined there.
Later a pulp mill was constructed which would become the DeGrasse Paper company. By the early 1900’s it had become a boom town, with a school, stores, meat market and several hotels. The town was at one time home to 1500 people. By the 1930’s the stock market crash had pretty much destroyed the towns industries and people left for better opportunities. Today there are still a few homes there, and if you look close, you will find dozens of concrete foundations, the remnants of a once thriving mill town. Also several mill stones from the pulp mill lay unceremoniously besides the road. One of the things to survive with grace and beauty is the St Paul’s Oratory. The building has been meticulously preserved and is the highlight of a drive through Pyrites. If you enjoyed this, please share it.
The DeGrasse paper mill at Pyrites NY
Postcards from Pyrites