Several textile companies called this community home, giving it the nickname “Clothing Capital of the South”.
Known as the “Clothing Center of the South”, the Sewell Company moved operations to Bremen from Atlanta in 1928. Their success encouraged several other textile companies to emerge in this town. While production has since moved to Alabama, the Sewell Company is still very much active within the town of Bremen.
Things to Do
- “Stitching the Fabric of Community in the West Georgia Region” Exhibit, 126 Hamilton Avenue: This indoor exhibit shares the textile story of the Sewell Family in the central west Georgia region. This space is located in Sewell Mill Events Facility & Community Center, which is open to the public by appointment only. Please contact Sewell Mill at (404) 492-4336 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Bremen Self-Guided Walking Tour, 3 signs at the Bremen Deopt Park at Atlantic Ave and Carrollton St and and 2 signs at Sewell Mill Event Facility on Hamilton Ave.
- Sewell Factory Store, 115 Atlantic Avenue: Buy a suit or check out the apparel produced by The Sewell Companies on the ground level of the Sewell Companies Building, which is home to their clothing store. Their hours of operation are Monday through Friday 9:00 am – 4:30 pm.
Places to 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.
- Cluett, Peabody & Co. Building, 203 South Buchanan Street: This location is privately owned and is not open to the public. Drive by the “Arrow Plant” on South Buchanan Street. This building was the location of the Cluett, Peabody & Co. building between the late 1920s and 1991. Before Cluett came along this site was home to the first textiles in Bremen as Bremen Looms and later on as Bremen Mills.
- The Ray Sewell Company Building, 300 Alabama Avenue: This multi-story brick building on Alabama Avenue served as the headquarters for The Ray Sewell Company from the 1960s through the 1980s. Currently, this location houses the Bremen office of the Georgia Vision Institute.
- The Sewell Companies Building, 115 Atlantic Avenue: This two-story building was the headquarters and Plant No.1 for Sewell Manufacturing from 1928-2008 and is now the headquarters for The Sewell Companies. Be sure to check out the historic Art Deco sign and clock and look nearby for our interpretive signs nearby!
In 1928, brothers Robert, Roy, and Warren Sewell moved their growing apparel company from Atlanta to Bremen drawn to the community by the crossing of two railroads, the intersection of two U.S. highways, and a good supply of labor. Other clothing producers, such as New York-based Cluett, Peabody & Co., Inc., also built apparel plants in Bremen during the late 1920s. Both companies expanded operations several times in the coming decades, building plants in nearby Buchanan, Bowdon, Temple, Douglasville, and Rome, Georgia as well as Heflin, Alabama.
The success of the Sewells spawned numerous other clothing manufacturers in Bremen, including the Hubbard Pants Company (1935), Warren Sewell Clothing Company (1945), the Ray Sewell Company (1955), and the Worley-Sewell Company (1963), among others. During the industry’s peak in the 1970s, some 2,500 Bremen area residents, most of whom were women, worked in the city’s apparel plants.
During the 1980s and 1990s, most of the city’s clothing manufacturers closed due to falling profits caused by foreign competition and the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1994 (NAFTA). Two of the Sewell family businesses remained — Sewell Manufacturing and the Warren Sewell Clothing Company. In 2008, these companies merged as The Sewell Companies and shifted their headquarters to the “Plant Number One” building, which is part of Sewell Manufacturing Company on Pacific Avenue. Today, The Sewell Clothing Companies produces suits and military uniforms in Heflin, Alabama. These men’s suits, slacks, and sports coats can be purchased at the factory store in Bremen.
Charter Trail Members:
- Sewell Mill Events Facility & Community Center
- Warren P. Sewell Memorial Library
- Carroll County Chamber of Commerce
- Carroll County Historical Society
- Greater Haralson Chamber of Commerce
- Greater Haralson Tourism
- Haralson County Historical Society
Resources to Explore
Click on the following links to learn more about this region.
- Facts for Kids
- Digital Library of Georgia
- Georgia Archives Virtual Vault
- Georgia Historical Society
- Haralson County, New Georgia Encyclopedia
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