Experience a “New South” cotton town with a booming hosiery mill business by the 1920s.
A growing railroad town, Carrollton became a hub of textile manufacturing in the twentieth century. In 1899, local businessmen established Mandeville Mills, and the mill soon employed over 200 workers to produce cotton yarn and fertilizer and to operate several gins on the property. By 1910, the mill added 120 looms to produce cloth. The company had its own spur lines from the railroad to collect raw product for processing and manufacturing and to ship finished products off to large regional or national markets.
In the 1920s, entrepreneurs began opening hosiery mills along the railroad lines and downtown along Bradley Street, near the railroad depot, and they employed hundreds of women as well as some men. The buildings that once housed Carroll Mills and Lawler Mills are still located downtown; Maryon Mills is on Maple Street, near the Mandeville Mill; and Peds later operated in a building that still survives near Mandeville Mill.
Mandeville Mills closed in 1953, but the grandson of the founder opened a new rope company adjacent to the old mill. His son transformed the plant by the 1980s to create BlueWater Ropes which produces a popular internationally-known synthetic climbing rope. Printed Fabrics opened in the old Mandeville Mill, moving south from Pennsylvania to find cheaper labor. Now the surviving old cotton mill building has been converted into loft apartments, and the mill village still surrounds the historic mill.
Be sure to visit the Southern Quilt and Textile Museum, which is located in a former cotton warehouse on Bradley Street. In the early twentieth century, Carroll County was a booming cotton production center, and warehouses once lined Bradley Street, formerly known as Depot Street.
Member Organizations on the Trail:
- BlueWater Ropes
- Carrollton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau
- Southeastern Quilt and Textile Museum
What can you do?
- Carrollton Spur Walking Tour–Take the Textile Trail walking tour of downtown historic Carrollton and visit Adamson Square, a center of cotton trade; the hosiery mills and cotton warehouses on Depot Street; the railroad station where cotton was shipped; and the historic Mandeville Mills, Carrollton’s first cotton mill. All sites are interpreted by wayside signage. Pick up your Walking Trail brochure at the Main Street office downtown, the Southern Quilt and Textile Museum (on the Trail), Carrollton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, or download a copy here.
- Southeastern Quilt and Textile Museum–This museum hosts rotating exhibits on quilts and the textile arts as well as exhibits about the textile industry, including the full story of textile production in Carroll County. The Museum is open on Thursday through Saturday. Visit at 306 Bradley Street, Carrollton, GA 30117. Look for the Trail’s wayside sign while you’re there!
- Maryon Hosiery Mill building on Maple Street–This historic building is now open to the public as Feathers and Twigs and the Fabric Peddler at 506 Maple St, Carrollton, GA 30117. Look for the Trail’s wayside sign while you’re there!
What can you see?
The following properties are not open to the public, but you can view them from the exterior to learn more about the buildings that supported the textile industry here.
- Aycock house on Maple Street, now home to a private business — This home was built by one of Mandeville Mills investors and presidents, Joseph Aycock. Visit at 408 Maple St,. Carrollton, GA 30117.
Carroll Mill on Bradley Street, now a privately-owned — This two-story buildings was the second and final location for the hosiery mill from the late 1920s through the early 2000s. Visit at 202 Bradley St., Carrollton, GA 30117.
Lawler Lofts on Bradley Street, now home to several businesses and private lofts–This multi-story hosiery mill was built in 1934 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005. Visit at 301 Bradley St., Carrollton, GA 30117.
Lovvorn house at the corner of Maple Street and Lovvorn Road, now a private residence — This home was built by one of Mandeville Mills investors. Henry Lovvorn. Visit at 701 Maple St., Carrollton, GA 30117.
Mandeville home (also known as Maple Street Mansion) on Maple Street, now privately-owned — This home was built by Mandeville Mills founder and first president, Leroy Mandeville, and was renovated as a restaurant, sports bar, and event space in the late twentieth century. Visit at 401 Maple St., Carrollton, GA 30117.
Mandeville Mill and Mill Village–privately owned–The mill has been converted to apartments, but visitors can see the range of mill houses that surround the mill as well as an old office building. Visit at 361 Lovvorn Rd. Carrollton, GA 30117.
- BlueWater Ropes, a Mandeville family business that produces climbing rope, not open to the public. Visit at 209 Lovvorn Rd. Carrollton, GA 30117.
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