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Near Burlington in Alamance County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Men in the Mill Village

 
 
Men in the Mill Village Marker image. Click for full size.
By Patrick G. Jordan, June 27, 2010
1. Men in the Mill Village Marker
Inscription. Transitioning from the farm to an industrialized way of life was especially hard for men. On the farm, men experienced a certain amount of freedom and variety; millwork was often tedious, repetitive, and produced only wages for a day's labor. Men had more opportunities than women to advance within the mill and could move from job to job by watching other workers and learning their skills. They also had access to the higher-paying, skilled work, and positions of greater authority.
A man’s position in the mill affected his role at home. On the farm, men and women each had their own set duties, but men were recognized as the primary family providers. Female wage work in the mills challenged the man’s position as head of the household. The mill structure also threatened male autonomy. For the first time, these men were working for someone else, and their bosses wielded influence not only at work but also at home. Men often vented frustration with mill authority by moving their families from mill to mill, one of the only means they had to challenge the mill owners.
Father would stay open until nine o’clock on Saturday nights. At that time they had a bunch of pretty regular customers who would maybe celebrate a little by smelling the bottle, or tasting a little when they’d come by. Sometimes there was a Jew’s harp, and a violin,
Men in the Mill Village Marker image. Click for full size.
By Patrick G. Jordan, June 27, 2010
2. Men in the Mill Village Marker
which he’d call a fiddle. They’d sit around and eat pigs’ feet and crackers and sausage and snack like a person drinking like to do sometimes. Herman Truitt, speaking of his father who ran a company store in Burlington.

Men in the mill village worked hard to provide for their families in the same ways that they had on the farm. They worked for their wages in the mill but also kept livestock and grew whatever they could in the yards of their company-owned housing. Many men spent free hours hunting and fishing to supplement the food they bought at the company store.
Beyond work, family, and church, the center of social life for men in the mill village was the company store. Storeowners would stay open late to allow village men to gather and drink, discuss family and work, play checkers, and listen to music. In many villages, the most respected and famous man was the town musician. He would often perform at the company store, drawing large crowds. In some cases, these gatherings fostered problems with drinking. Fighting among town “rowdies” was not unusual. Single men were particularly protective of the borders of the mill town and sometimes became aggressive toward outsiders who entered the mill village. By guarding their home territory, village men maintained control over their communities in one of the few ways available to them.
 
Location.
Men in the Mill Village Marker image. Click for full size.
By Patrick G. Jordan, June 27, 2010
3. Men in the Mill Village Marker
36° 8.288′ N, 79° 25.647′ W. Marker is near Burlington, North Carolina, in Alamance County. Marker is on Glencoe Street, on the left when traveling west. Click for map. Glencoe Village is 3 miles north of Burlington, NC from NC Highway 62. Marker is in this post office area: Burlington NC 27215, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Children in the Mill Village (here, next to this marker); African Americans in the Mill Village (here, next to this marker); Women in the Mill Village (a few steps from this marker); Calling the Mill Village 'Home' (a few steps from this marker); Working the Shift (a few steps from this marker); After the Whistle Blows (within shouting distance of this marker); A Legacy of Community (within shouting distance of this marker); Cotton Dust and Poverty (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Burlington.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. To better understand the relationship, study each marker in the order shown.
 
Also see . . .
1. Glencoe Research Forum. This website provides information on historic Glencoe Mill and the restored mill village. (Submitted on July 7, 2010, by Patrick G. Jordan of Burlington, North Carolina.) 

2. Glencoe Textile Heritage Museum
Man operating a spinning frame in Catawba Cotton Mill image. Click for full size.
By Patrick G. Jordan, June 27, 2010
4. Man operating a spinning frame in Catawba Cotton Mill
December 1908. Newton, North Carolina
. (Submitted on July 7, 2010, by Patrick G. Jordan of Burlington, North Carolina.)
 
Additional keywords. Alamance, Glencoe Cotton Mill, Burlington, Company Shops, textiles, fabrics
 
Categories. 20th CenturyIndustry & CommerceNotable Places
 
Upper Mill card room hands sitting on a rock, ca. 1915 image. Click for full size.
By Patrick G. Jordan, June 27, 2010
5. Upper Mill card room hands sitting on a rock, ca. 1915
Franklinville, North Carolina
Rhythm of the Factory - Series of Markers image. Click for full size.
By Patrick G. Jordan, June 27, 2010
6. Rhythm of the Factory - Series of Markers
Life and Labor in North Carolina's Textile Mill Communities
Rhythm of the Factory Series of Markers - on the Glencoe Mill Building image. Click for full size.
By Patrick G. Jordan, June 27, 2010
7. Rhythm of the Factory Series of Markers - on the Glencoe Mill Building
Glencoe Mill image. Click for full size.
By Patrick G. Jordan, June 27, 2010
8. Glencoe Mill
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Patrick G. Jordan of Burlington, North Carolina. This page has been viewed 569 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Patrick G. Jordan of Burlington, North Carolina.   4. submitted on , by Patrick G. Jordan of Burlington, North Carolina.   5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on , by Patrick G. Jordan of Burlington, North Carolina. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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