“The buildings are simply elegant and the machinery is of the latest style and embraces all of the modern improvements for making cotton yarn.” ― Tom Anderton on the Cherry Cotton Mill in East Florence, quoted by William McDonald in his book, Sweetwater, Yesteryears, 1990
Though the history is not always pleasant, cotton and cotton manufacturing have deep roots in Alabama. From Sweetwater Mill in Florence to the Avondale Mills in Birmingham, and the many others in between, textile manufacturing, specifically cotton textiles, have influenced our local industries and communities for decades. Ahead of our 2019 Project Threadways Symposium, this week we take a look at a few of the mills that shaped textile manufacturing throughout Alabama’s history as well present-day business founded on cotton and this rich manufacturing heritage.
Remembering Sweetwater – The Mansions, the Mills, the People by William McDonald
Lowe Mill in Huntsville
Avondale Mills in Birmingham
Bell Factory in Huntsville
“You Can Make It There” – The Bitter Southerner on Alabama Chanin
Red Land Cotton in Moulton
@ The School of Making
Join us for Third Tuesdays at The Factory on April 16 for a morning of making and fellowship.
@ The Factory Store + Café
The Project Threadways Symposium takes place April 25th – 27th at The Factory, and tickets are available for lectures and the other special events (including a Friends of the Café Dinner featuring chef Bill Smith and a special collaboration dinner with Cheetie Kumar, Angie Mosier, and Lisa Donovan) that we have coordinated around the three days of conversation. Find all the details and purchase your tickets here.
The images in this post depict aerial photos of Tee Jays plants in the Florence Lauderdale Industrial Park that were taken between the 1980s and 1990s.