“If a child grew ill, the company doctor was called; if a light bulb burned out in the kitchen, the company supplied a new one.” Syracuse Herald American, 1967
Dozens of towns, like Adirondac and Skenesborough, grew up around Adirondack mining operations. In many cases, the companies that owned the mines, forges, and furnaces also owned the stores, homes, and boarding houses that made up Adirondack mining towns.
Company housing was provided for workers and was usually built close to the workplace. Single workers rented rooms in boarding houses. Some workers shared one bed - one man would work at night and sleep during the day, while the other worked during the day and slept at night! Married workers rented houses that had been built by the company. Rent for rooms and houses was taken out of the workers’ salaries.
Company stores were common in the mining industry. Workers could buy groceries, dry goods, clothing, dishes and cookware, medicine, and tobacco at the company store. But workers could buy these goods only at the company store because they were usually paid in scrip. The mining companies profited greatly from this system. In the 1870s, J. & J. Rogers Iron Company owned three stores and sold more than $350,000 in goods.
The mining companies also built churches in their towns and sponsored many community activities and events. Companies built bandstands and hosted concerts. They organized baseball games and other sporting events, like drilling competitions.