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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Burlington in Alamance County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Living in a Mill-Centered World

 
 
Living in a Mill-Centered World Marker image. Click for full size.
By Patrick G. Jordan, June 27, 2010
1. Living in a Mill-Centered World Marker
Inscription. In the village, every aspect of the workers’ lives revolved around the mill. In addition to their homes, the churches, schools, and stores all belonged or were tied to the mill owners. While these places provided much needed social time for mill workers, they also served to extend the mill’s influence beyond the factory door. As an early twentieth century Congressional report asserted, “The company owns everything and controls everything, and to a large extent controls everybody in the mill village.”

Church provided an important spiritual outlet for the mill village community. However, management held influence over the church, providing money and encouraging pastors to promote values beneficial to the mill such as encouraging good work ethics and discouraging alcohol consumption. Even though owners encouraged attendance at the mill churches, some employees sought out other places of worship to avoid these pressures.

It’s just in the Bible that people is supposed to make their living by the sweat of their brow. They preached that.
Mary Thompson, draw in hand in a North Carolina mill


Although some mill owners built schools and paid the teachers, attendance was not mandatory. In the village, getting an education was rarely as important as holding a job. Parents or
Living in a Mill-Centered World Marker image. Click for full size.
By Patrick G. Jordan, June 27, 2010
2. Living in a Mill-Centered World Marker
owners could require children to work instead of attending school. In some cases, children preferred working and aspired to jobs in the mill rather than higher education. Owners recognized that if mill children were not offered the same level of education as those in nearby towns, they were more likely to continue to work for the company.

Initially, company stores were a place for mill workers to purchase groceries and needed goods without having to travel into neighboring towns. However, providing a store also ensured that workers’ money would continue to come back into the mill. If mill workers were in debt to the store, they were less likely to leave the village for other work. By 1920, however, many companies stopped operating these stores. With increasing financial security for the mills, it was no longer necessary to restrict workers from spending outside the mill village. Many mill owners came to recognize that keeping workers in debt alienated them more than it ensured their loyalty.

 
Location. 36° 8.303′ N, 79° 25.669′ 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.
Living in a Mill-Centered World Marker image. Click for full size.
By Patrick G. Jordan, June 27, 2010
3. Living in a Mill-Centered World Marker
At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Neighbors Divided (here, next to this marker); The Rise of the Textile Mill Communities (here, next to this marker); Cotton Dust and Poverty (here, next to this marker); A Legacy of Community (a few steps from this marker); After the Whistle Blows (a few steps from this marker); Working the Shift (within shouting distance of this marker); Calling the Mill Village 'Home' (within shouting distance of this marker); Women in the Mill Village (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 20, 2010, by Patrick G. Jordan of Burlington, North Carolina.) 

2. Glencoe Textile Heritage Museum. (Submitted on July 20, 2010, by Patrick G. Jordan of Burlington, North Carolina.)
 
Additional keywords. Alamance Cotton Mill, Glencoe, Fabric, Textiles, Company Shops, Holt
 
Categories. 20th CenturyIndustry & CommerceNotable Places
 
West Durham Church Of God, Easter Sunday, 1950. image. Click for full size.
By Patrick G. Jordan, June 27, 2010
4. West Durham Church Of God, Easter Sunday, 1950.
Durham, North Carolina
The mill office and company store in Glencoe Cotton Mill, c. 1940s, Burlington, North Carolina image. Click for full size.
By Patrick G. Jordan, June 27, 2010
5. The mill office and company store in Glencoe Cotton Mill, c. 1940s, Burlington, North Carolina
This building is now the Glencoe Textile Heritage Museum.
School room inside a curtained off section of the cloth room, 1907. Cliffside, North Carolina. image. Click for full size.
By Patrick G. Jordan, June 27, 2010
6. School room inside a curtained off section of the cloth room, 1907. Cliffside, North Carolina.
Interior of the Company Store, Glencoe Cotton Mill, Burlington, North Carolina image. Click for full size.
By Patrick G. Jordan, June 27, 2010
7. Interior of the Company Store, Glencoe Cotton Mill, Burlington, North Carolina
Rhythm of the Factory Marker image. Click for full size.
By Patrick G. Jordan, June 27, 2010
8. Rhythm of the Factory Marker
Rhythm of the Factory Series of Markers - on Glencoe Mill image. Click for full size.
By Patrick G. Jordan, June 27, 2010
9. Rhythm of the Factory Series of Markers - on Glencoe Mill
Living in a Mill-Centered World Marker image. Click for full size.
By Patrick G. Jordan, June 27, 2010
10. Living in a Mill-Centered World Marker
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Patrick G. Jordan of Burlington, North Carolina. This page has been viewed 663 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. 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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