Creating an Industrial Landscape : Cotton Mill Villages in a North Carolina County, 1837-1930

Miller, Lauren, Department of Architectural History, University of Virginia
Bluestone, Daniel, Department of Architecture, University of Virginia
Nelson, Louis, Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, University of Virginia
Bishir, Catherine, University of Virginia

Understanding the environment that housed and transformed Southern textile workers’ lives is key to understanding the breakdown of the exclusively agrarian economic system of the South. While industry and agriculture are economic systems, they are also tied to cultural and ideological mindsets that are seen in the built environment. Three periods marked this transitional era. The first period from the 1830s to the 1870s brought the first textile mills and the early vernacular roots of small mill villages. The second period from the 1880s to 1900 was a period of rapid expansion that resulted in a codification of rural forms and village planning. The third period from 1900 to the 1920s saw the breakdown of familial industry control and locally derived houses. A reconstruction of typical Alamance mill villages during each of these periods, an explanation of why it looked as it did, and bow it changed over time depicts the industrialization of a Piedmont county

MA (Master of Arts)
Southern textile industry, cotton mills, North Carolina County 1837-1930

Digitization of this thesis was made possible by a generous grant from the Jefferson Trust, 2015.

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