Montrose Publishing to Close after Nearly 200 Years
It is the end of an era for a long-time business in Susquehanna County.
Montrose Publishing Company will officially close its doors Friday after nearly 200 years in business.
Workers at Montrose Publishing Company have been clearing the place out. Large presses have already been disassembled and only a few remained, including one of the original printing presses from the business that began in 1816.
President David Spence said it is the end of an era for the business is considered the oldest publishing company in the nation.
“Profits were starting to drop off, starting to get to where we couldn`t get the cash flow to maintain a profitable business, get things going real well, buy the equipment that we needed to buy and keep up with the industry as we should,” said Montrose Publishing Company president David Spence.
When business was booming, the presses were running 24/7, producing 2.5 million pages per day, but company officials said the internet has really taken its toll on the printing business.
“Kindles and all that stuff. People are now going to be able to go online and get whatever you want. Basically have a library in your hand, and that`s what killed this business,” said longtime employee Kenneth VanGorder.
Montrose Publishing printed mostly magazines and company pamphlets. Kenneth VanGorder ran the presses.
“I was hired here 27 years ago and this has always been my second family. We`re very close. We`ve gone through different generations that they`ve gone through. I`ve enjoyed working here. It`s a shame it has to go,” VanGorder added.
Spence said the rural location and postal rates also led to the closure.
“Geographically, we were also hurt because our magazines all mail. It costs us maybe $0.70 to produce a magazine, but it costs $1.17 to mail it. So postage was a big thing that came in as well that drove the price of printing up,” added Spence.
Many local businesses also used the printing company. The owner of Original Italian Pizza in Montrose had his menus printed there, but will now have to go elsewhere.
“It`s sad because these people have been here a long time and when you see stuff like that go, it puts a dent not only in the town, but the local people around town, because it`s a blessing to have them around,” said Max Amato, owner of Original Italian Pizza.
Spence said the printing presses have been sold and will be shipped all over the world to Pakistan, India, South Africa and Brazil.