Trust staff admits we need some schooling when it comes to mill villages. An architect friend suggested we read Building the Workingman's Paradise: The Design of American Company Towns by Margaret Crawford. The book arrived in the mail today, and we thought this first step at learning was worthy of its own blog post.
Part of the fabric of Spartanburg's past, the textile mill industry operated as virtual self sustaining communities as it developed housing, installed utilities, and ran its own general store and post office. Spartanburg, like many upstate towns, was at one time comprised of multiple working mills. We have lost many of the mills themselves to deconstruction, fire, and the like. We have lost some of the mill housing, too, virtually erasing chapters in our rich history.
As you can imagine, the Trust would like to save the history that Spartanburg has left. Areas like Pacolet, Glendale, and in the city, Beaumont Mill, are places worthy of investment. Each area has incredible attributes and community leadership who value "sense of place". We find more and more that people want to be connected to their community; they want to know the history of their home and community, and they want to find their role in its past, present and future.
As the Trust moves forward into its future, don't be surprised if our direction meanders through a mill community near you....after some schooling, of course.