Come see the city with textile ties throughout the Chattahoochee River Valley.
West Point’s textile industry began shortly after the Civil War. Sparked by the “New South” ideology and facilitated by the selling of warehoused cotton at high prices, local merchants and planters established two major textile industries in West Point during the Reconstruction Era.
Founded in 1869, the Georgia-Alabama Manufacturing Company, a predecessor of West Point Manufacturing and the Chattahoochee Manufacturing Company were deeply connected with the similar industries in both LaGrange, Georgia and Valley, Alabama. Soon both manufacturing companies had expanded were operating mills in Chambers County, Alabama. The Georgia-Alabama Manufacturing operated Riverdale Mill in Valley, Alabama while the Chattahoochee Manufacturing Company operated Langdale Mill in Valley, Alabama.
Incorporated on December 20, 1880, West Point Manufacturing Company expanded and operated plants within the surrounding areas in Troup County and across the Georgia Alabama border into Chambers County. By 1913, West Point Manufacturing Company was operating five cotton-manufacturing plants. The company built mill village homes for the mill employees as well as kindergartens in their mill villages at Shawmut, Lanett, Riverview, Langdale, and Fairfax. Children of all their employees received the advantage of a full nine months of schooling.
Pepperell Manufacturing Company would merge with West Point to create West Point Pepperell in 1965. In 1993, West Point Pepperell merged with J.P Stevens Company. The company continue to operate under the new name, WestPoint Stevens. Although other textile industries in West Georgia diminished due to overseas competition created by NAFTA, WestPoint Stevens was able to thrive into the late 1990s. In 1997, WestPoint Steven estimated 1.658 billion in sales and still had several dozens of plants located throughout the Chattahoochee River Valley.
What can you do?
- West Point Depot — The building dates back to 1887, and was at one time the freight transfer building for Alabama and Georgia railroads. Now, it is a visitor center and museum.