KapStone recently released their rockfish painted by one of their own employees Mike Haislip. The fish is painted with an aerial view of the mill property on one side and an American flag on the other, letting all who see the fish know that KapStone paper is proudly "Made in America." The fish is located on the main road leading into the mill, surrounded by a beautifully landscaped flower bed. In 1907, when the KapStone mill was known as the Roanoke Rapids Paper Manufacturing Company, the mill was the first in the nation to manufacture kraft pulp, using a new pulping process imported from Europe. By using local Southern Pine as raw material, the mill was able to make paper of superior quality and strength. After the mill was acquired in 1977 by Champion International, millions of dollars were invested in advanced manufacturing and environmental technologies to produce quality paper products while minimizing the impact of the paper-making process on the environment. In June of 2000, the Roanoke Rapids Mill became part of International Paper’s Containerboard and Kraft Papers business. The Roanoke Rapids Mill was acquired by KapStone Paper and Packaging Corporation in January 2007 and operates as Kapstone Kraft Paper Corporation. The mill currently employs 489 people with an annual payroll of $49 million and comprises approximately 1,900 acres. KapStone produces approximately 156,000 tons of kraft liner and 273,000 tons of kraft paper. KapStone truly gives back to the community; in fact, the mill and its employees gave $110,000 to various local community charities in 2010. For those reasons and many more, KapStone really Rocks the Roanoke Valley!