A bit of a sad story to pass the time as we wait for election day to dawn, including a reminder about the fragility of traditions that we used to think would last forever. In the Mohawk Valley, located in upstate New York, there is a tiny town named Ilion. For just shy of 200 years, going back to 1828, the village has been the home of Remington Arms, among the oldest and most venerable firearms companies in the world. Stories about Ilion and Remington are always significant for me because I was born and raised in another village only ten miles away. I used to ride my bicycle past the Remington Arms plant on a regular basis. It was a bustling center of activity and nearly every family in the immediate area either had a relative who worked there or they knew plenty of friends who did. That’s basically come to an end now, though. Remington filed for bankruptcy for a second time recently and now they’ve been forced to sell off their operation in a piecemeal fashion. Some of the jobs may come back under a combination of new owners, but this is still the end of an era. (Associated Press)
Workers at the sprawling Remington factory in this upstate New York village took pride in a local gunmaking tradition stretching back to the days of flintlock rifles. Now they’re looking ahead with uncertainty…
Successful bidders for the idled plant in bankruptcy proceedings have said they plan to restart at least some production, though details remain scarce.
There are high hopes for a successful reload of the plant that dominates the local economy. But these hopes are tempered by questions about how many workers will come back, and when.
Given all of the stories we’ve covered here about surging gun sales around the country and stores that can’t even keep their shelves stocked, you may be wondering how an operation like Remington could be going out of business. It’s a fair question, but the answer is complicated. Remington’s demise in Ilion wasn’t caused by any problems with their products or a lack of demand. Their rifles and shotguns were always popular and their reputation was excellent. The demise of the operation wasn’t sudden, either. This had been coming for a very long time.