Standing in a light rain outside the gate at the Verso Paper mill in Bucksport on Wednesday afternoon, Stephen Bowden took a long look back at the place he has worked for the last 42½ years.

“That’s it. It’s over. That’s the end of an era,” said Bowden, after completing his final shift at the mill.

He was one of hundreds of workers who left the mill for the last time Wednesday afternoon, to cheers from more than 100 community members.

Verso Paper, the mill’s owner, announced earlier this year it was shuttering the facility. The last roll of paper popped off the No. 1 paper machine Dec. 5.

Verso has announced that it plans to sell the mill to American Iron & Metal.

Scott Lally of Bucksport carries his lunch box and work boots out of the Verso Paper mill for the last time Wednesday.

Scott Lally of Bucksport carries his lunch box and work boots out of the Verso Paper mill for the last time Wednesday.

Stephen Bowden hugs Bob Hatch, facing camera, after their final shift at the Verso Paper mill in Bucksport Wednesday. The machines shut down this month and workers had been cleaning and preparing the mill for sale.

Stephen Bowden hugs Bob Hatch, facing camera, after their final shift at the Verso Paper mill in Bucksport Wednesday. The machines shut down this month and workers had been cleaning and preparing the mill for sale.