- the Old Bag Factory 2010 - Present
- the Old Bag Factory 1984 - 2010
- the Chase Bag Factory 1910 - 1982
- Cosmo Soap Company 1896 - 1910
the Old Bag Factory 2010 - Present
On December 31st, 2010 the Old Bag Factory was purchased by James Rupright. The charm and atmosphere that is so much a part of the Old Bag Factory is inspiring to James. He has made it his mission to breathe new life and posterity into the Old Bag Factory and its inhabitants.
The Old Bag Factory is growing by leaps and bounds; new Artists and Merchants are joining the ever-growing family that is the Old Bag Factory.
Once again, the Old Bag Factory thrives on craft and commerce. The means and rate of production have changed, but the vision remains the same.
Now, instead of transporting goods by train, the Old Bag Factory’s artists and merchants can send their crafts away in – what else? – Shopping bags.
the Old Bag Factory 1984 - 2010
In 1984, the building was purchased by Larion and Nancy Swartzendruber. The wind and weather had taken it's toll. Electricity and plumbing were no longer functioning. At that time the Old Bag Factory was restored and the Swartzendrubers made the Old Bag Factory the headquarters for their handcrafted custom furniture.
It was during this period of time in the Old Bag Factory's history, that other Artists and Merchants began making this nostalgic building and its surroundings their home.
Artists and Merchants like:
Mark Goertzen of Goertzen Pottery located on the main floor of The Old Bag Factory.
Shirley Shenk of Quilt Designs located in the beautiful 1837 two-story log cabin.
John Mishler of John Mishler Sculptures located in the former Boiler Building.
Mary Ann Ryman of Carriage Barn Antiques located in the lovely 1893 brick building.
Chase Bag Factory 1910 - 1982
In 1910, the plant was renovated and purchased by The Chicago-Detroit Bag Company. A 1924 merger put the building under the control of the Chase Bag Factory, and the factory became part of a colossal enterprise. The Goshen plant was one of the largest and most important of the 15 plants owned by the company. It was their specialty products division. The range of bags extended from waterproof burlap sacks to the fine, sheer paper used in Hershey’s Kiss wrappers.
The term “bagology” was coined during this period, meaning “to elevate the production of bags to the level of science.” However, after many years of triumph and success, the churning wheels of baglogical science caused the building to become outdated; the Bag Factory closed its doors in 1982, after a long, slow decline.
Cosmo Buttermilk Soap Company 1896 - 1910
June 1896, J.J. Burns, an Ohio native with a canny business mind, opened the Cosmo Buttermilk Soap Company in Goshen, Indiana. The production building – constructed expressly to facilitate Burns’ new business – took up nearly 80,000 square feet of space. Inside, workers manufactured laundry soap, fine bathing soap and toilet paper.
The factory, along with the city’s fledgling electric railway, got its energy from the power plant located on-site: a 125 horse power Bates Cordless engine powering a 300 light dynamo.
Another railroad track, running directly into the plant, carted monthly shipments of goods away to New York and other far away places.