Company Town Legacy

what happens to a Company Town when the company leaves?

About Company Town Legacy

Welcome to Company Town Legacy, a site that explores what happens to a company town after the company leaves.

Company Town Legacy explores the lasting effects of blueprints established by corporations on towns created to support particular industries and to recruit and retain workers.

This project focuses on Potlatch, Idaho, once home to the world’s largest white pine mill. At the turn of the 20th century, the lumber industry established this town to provide work, basic amenities, and initial government structures. Residents’ lives were shaped by connections between corporations and local governments for everything from cradle to grave.

Such dynamics were common across the Pacific Northwest in the United States in lumber, mining, aluminum, railroad, and shipping industries.

This project documents lives of residents in a company town and also considers what happens once the company leaves.



For more information about this project, please contact Dr. Diane Kelly-Riley, Associate Professor of English at the University of Idaho.

You can reach her at or 208-885-5704.