Friday, March 20, 2009
Located in the Borough of Helmetta, New Jersey, is the Helme snuff mill.
In 1880 George W. Helme, bought land between Jamesburg and Spotswood for a mill to produce snuff (powdered tobacco ingested by snorting) and related products like chewing tobacco. Helme named the area after his daughter Antoinette who was known as Etta. Helmetta was a classic company town. The mill employed most of the residents; they lived in company-owned housing, and they shopped with company-issued scrip at the company-run store.
Several of my ancestors worked at this mill including two of my great-grandparents (George I. Kolbusz & Ignatz Kollain). My grandfather, Alexander Kolbush, was born in one of the company houses in July 1905. Son of Polish immigrants George Ignatz Kolbush (Kolbusz) and Pauline Gobura, Alexander was also employed by the snuff mill between 1930-1936.
A special thank you to the Jamesburg Historical Association and www.jamesburg.net