Mooresville Mill Village
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History


Beginnings
The First Mill Houses
Early Mill House Style
Mill House Styles
Construction of Mill No. 2
Immigration and Population
The Mill Village
Village Infrastructure
Women
Mill Complex in the 20's and 30's
A Visual History of the Mill Village (slideshow)
Mooresville's Textile Heritage Slideshow (Statesville Landmark Website)



Early Mill House Pattern
A quaint 1907 College Street mill house
Typical College Street Mill House

The mill houses built in Mooresville between 1891 and 1916 are remarkably uniform in construction. The size of the homes, quality of materials, and skill of construction are impressive. Equally notable is the overwhelming majority of single-family homes. In the same era when many mills focused on maximizing boarding rooms by building duplexes and boarding houses, Mooresville Cotton Mills leadership clearly sought to focus on the family as an individual unit. Consistent with that philosophy, the vast majority of housing provided for the individual family. While other mills required that the amount of rooms in a mill house be no more than the amount of mill hands living there, MCM simply charged an amount per room in the house. In that way, the Mooresville Mill Village houses allowed families to shelter their elderly and youngest without having to share with other mill hand families.

Early Mill Houses on North Church Street
Church Street View

"...It should be remembered that buildings designed by an architect or taken from a pattern book were still fairly rare in the area. Yet, even smaller cottages of this period would often receive ornament unheard of a few decades before. Double pile (two room deep) cottages with hip roofs may be found along with the typical double front gable or gable and ell form cottages..."
from Historic Rural Resources in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina

Pre-1916 mill house construction in Mooresville tended to follow the exact pattern:

Interior Exterior
  • 3 rooms with a central walkway
  • one central fireplace
    • coal burning
    • double-sided
  • single-panel heart pine beaded board walls and ceiling
  • 2.5" heart pine tongue-in-groove flooring
  • side gable roof three bays wide
  • three bays wide and one bay deep with a rear ell
  • cedar shake roof
  • 5.5" yellow pine weatherboard, flat bevel, siding, rough size
  • six-over-six windows
  • brick piers, not continuous footing
  • front shed roof porch
  • 2 shed roof porches flanking the rear ell

 

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Mooresville Mill Village Initiative
last updated May 5, 2009