Near Burlington in Alamance County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
Men in the Mill Village
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.
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
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Agriculture • Animals • Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers.
Location. 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. Glencoe Village is 3 miles north of Burlington, NC from NC Highway 62. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Burlington NC 27215, United States of America. Touch for directions.
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). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Burlington.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. To better understand
Additional keywords. Alamance, Glencoe Cotton Mill, Burlington, Company Shops, textiles, fabrics
Credits. This page was last revised on November 30, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 7, 2010, by Patrick G. Jordan of Graham, North Carolina. This page has been viewed 661 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on July 7, 2010, by Patrick G. Jordan of Graham, North Carolina. 4. submitted on July 11, 2010, by Patrick G. Jordan of Graham, North Carolina. 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on July 7, 2010, by Patrick G. Jordan of Graham, North Carolina. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.