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)



The Mills and Immigration

The growth of cotton mills brought with it a boom in population. The poor rushed to the towns where mills offered the hope of a better life.

Textile mills built the New South. Beginning in the 1880s, as the South emerged from the wreckage of the Civil War, business and professional men tied their hopes for prosperity to the whirring of spindles and the beating of looms. Agriculture continued to dominate the southern economy until well into the twentieth century. But in the Piedmont, a region of gentle hills and rushing rivers that stretches from southern Virginia through the central Carolinas and into northern Georgia and Alabama, a new society rapidly took shape. By the mid 1920s this land of farms and farmers had been crisscrossed by railroad tracks and dotted with mill villages, and the Piedmont had eclipsed New England as the world's leading producer of yarn and cloth.

From Like a Family: The Making of a Southern Cotton Mill World

Throughout the years, the mill made Mooresville a target for immigrating populations. Hearing of the opportunity the mills offered, families poured in from the countryside seeking to better their lot.

Coming soon: Listen as Mill Villagers talk about how immigration built the Mill Village:

  • Listen to Ada Freeman talk about moving to Mooresville from Georgia.
  • Listen to Carrie Belle King Freeze talk about moving to Mooresville from Statesville.
  • Listen to Caroline Bowles talk about her family who moved to the mill village from Hendersonville, NC.
  • Listen to Bernice Melchor talk about James Snow who boarded at her home during the depression

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Mooresville Mill Village Initiative
last updated April 4, 2008