Gaston County was a center of textile manufacturing for many decades. This began with the opening of three mills in the 1850s. By 1901, local mills produced fine "combed yarn." Within the next twenty-five years, Gastonia proudly claimed to be the "Combed Yarn Capital" of the world.
As the mill industry grew, more people moved into Gaston County for work at the mills or at other industries that grew around them. Many of these industries provided machinery or supplies to the mills. Mills and mill towns became a way of life for many generations.
This guide is intended as a starting point for research on the textile industry in Gaston County and the surrounding area.
If you are interested in this topic, there is a permanent exhibit called Loray Mill "1929 STRIKE: A Community Divided" on display at the Gaston County Museum in Dallas, NC.
Go to: https://www.gastoncountymuseum.org/view
Search our Catalog by Subject for:
|Cotton Machinery||Cotton Trade||Textile Mills|
|Cotton Manufacture||Strikes and Lockouts||Textile Workers|
|Cotton Textile Industry||Textile Industry||Women Textile Workers|
Also search for the names of towns, i.e. McAdenville, or of specific companies.
The 1929 strike at the Loray Mill is the best known event in Gaston County's history – one which drew worldwide attention.
Gaston Speaks Podcast: The Loray Mill Strike of 1929, Sept 14, 2020 This Gaston History Minute includes links to a performance of Ella May Wiggin's ballad "Mill Mother's Lament", and the episode transcript.
Go to: https://www.podbean.com/ew/pb-qzbd8-eb2bc1
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