The son of a master paper maker in Aberdeen, Scotland, William Luke, arrived in American in 1852. Together, Luke and his sons John and David developed the first commercially successful method of manufacturing chemical wood pulp in this country. In 1887, under the auspices of the newly established Piedmont Pulp and Paper Company, the Lukes opened a paper mill on the West Virginia- Maryland border along the Potomac River. The company held its first stockholders meeting in Harper's Ferry, West Virginia on October 27, 1888. Ten years later, the West Virginia Pulp and Paper Company was officially incorporated after the Luke family enterprise had grown to consist of three mills, two in West Virginia and one in Maryland. Subsequent mergers with papermakers in Tyrone, Pennsylvania and Williamsburg, Virginia expanded operations. By 1910 the company had begun devoting resources toward the acquisition of timber rich lands and the scientific study of cultivating pines and hardwoods. Located on a five hundred acre site along the west bank of the Cooper River, the West Virginia Pulp and Paper mill at Charleston went into operation in July of 1937. In addition to the manufacture of bleached paperboard, the Charleston mill was also a hub for research and development focusing primarily on the chemistry and engineering of pulping and bleaching, the development of tall oil, lignin, and activated carbon products, and process control systems.
From the description of West Virginia Pulp and Paper Company South Carolina mill records, 1937-2000. (The South Carolina Historical Society). WorldCat record id: 741158548