Winchester, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
The Virginia Woolen Company and Lewis Jones Knitting Mill
Textiles, Transportation, and Technology
Textile mills accounted for three of Winchester's top ten employers in 1925, with the two largest mills operating near here. This optimal location provided access to the B&O Railroad, city utilities, and skilled workers.
The Virginia Woolen Company which was incorporated in 1900 produced premium quality woolen material including Ford Motor Company upholstery, military uniforms and blankets for World War II, and men's wear. Lewis Jones Knitting Mill (incorporated 1895), produced cotton goods, primarily ladies' underwear. In their heyday, the two mills employed over 700 local laborers.
Winchester's textile industries faltered in the 1950s when pitted against emerging synthetic fibers. Despite modernization attempts, Virginia Woolen closed in 1958 and Lewis Jones ceased textile operations
Although the Woolen Company buildings were demolished in 1999 for the Public Safety Center, the Lewis Jones Knitting Mill, repurposed in 2005 as an office building, stands as a reminder of Winchester's vibrant era of textile industry.
Virginia Woolen Mill Master Mechanic Charles Edward ‘Ed’ Johnston. Courtesy of Stewart Bell, Jr. Archives, Handley Regional Library, Winchester, VA
Workers pose around quilt rack in Lewis Jones Knitting Mill circa 1920. (Stewart Bell Jr. Archives, Winchester, Va)
Aerial view of Virginia Woolen Company, Lewis Jones Knitting Mill and surrounding houses in 1992. The B&O Railroad (now CSX) diagonally bisects the two mill lots. Photo by Rudy Rogers, Courtesy of Tim Youmans
Location. 39° 11.122′ N, 78° 9.655′ W. Marker is in Winchester, Virginia. Marker is at the intersection of East Piccadilly Street and North East Lane, on the right when traveling east on East Piccadilly Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Winchester VA 22601, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Jacob Baker Lot And Virginia City Addition (within shouting distance of this marker); The Early Education Of Black Students In Winchester (within shouting distance Dr. Taylor F. Finley (within shouting distance of this marker); Major General Daniel Morgan (within shouting distance of this marker); Third Battle of Winchester (within shouting distance of this marker); Old Stone Presbyterian Church (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Original Land Grant (about 500 feet away); Mary Greenhow Lee (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Winchester.
Categories. • Industry & Commerce •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 17, 2018. This page originally submitted on July 25, 2016, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 263 times since then and 51 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on July 25, 2016, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. 3, 4, 5. submitted on June 17, 2018, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.