Groups plan to host reception in historic mill tower | Local News

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The South Boston Garden Club, the Halifax County Historical Society and the City of South Boston invite residents to a community reception from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on November 7 at the historic Halifax Damask Mills Tower on Railroad Avenue, South Boston.

The rain dates from November 14. Light refreshments will be provided.

Improvements to be featured at the historic community site include newly landscaped grounds, additional commemorative and honorary bricks, and the display of a metal art sculpture from the original Century Cotton Mill, later renamed Halifax. Damask Mills, Inc.

The restored tower will be lit by a solar lighting system donated and installed by Elliott Electric Company. The Halifax Historical Society will sell Christmas ornaments made from the mill damask fabric as well as stained glass tower ornaments. Custom brick order requests will also be available.

Barbara Bass, president of the Halifax Historical Society, explained that the effort to save the Century Cotton Mill tower was launched by the society in the fall of 2015. After receiving an estimate of $ 36,000 to replace the roof, the missing windows and repairing brick and mortar joints, the company was able to raise the necessary funds through corporate donations and the sale of commemorative bricks. She stressed that the company continues to support efforts to preserve the tower which it considers an important part of the history of the community.

Former South Boston Garden Club President Barbara Speece was successful in securing a grant from the Virginia Federation of Garden Clubs to help cover the overall cost of landscaping the grounds around the tower.

She expressed gratitude for their support for this project and help from the Virginia Cooperative Extension Office, the City of South Boston, the Historical Society and Elliott Electric.

“We are always looking for ways to beautify our city,” Spece said. “The Tower Project is just one example of the club’s ongoing efforts to clean up and develop the public use areas of South Boston, especially sites of historical significance. A previous project of our club was to develop the bank of the River Dan where an obelisk monument marks the crossing of the Dan by General Nathaniel Greene to escape Cornwallis in 1781.

Speece said this project is a perfect fit for the VFGC’s Beautify and Restore grant, which considers restoration landscaping projects for the prizes.

Meredith Bowman, current president of the South Boston Garden Club, views the preservation and beautification of the remaining tower as an essential part of the community’s efforts to preserve its history. Noting that the factory has been one of the county’s largest employers for nearly a century, she hopes a large contingent from the community will attend the reception.

“The Damask plant in Halifax has been very important to our community for a long time,” said Bowman. “Come celebrate by recognizing the history of this historic cotton mill tower.”

Cotton spinning was a major source of income for many families in the early 1900s. Spinning was the product of the cotton industrial explosion that swept through the Cotton Belt South in the late 19th century and early 1900s. Twentieth. In 1900, a group of investors asked for a charter to make textiles from cotton and wool, rope and flour. The company was named Century Cotton Mills in honor of the new century.

The factory was leased by Paramount Knitting Company of Chicago in 1907 and employed 125 workers, including children. Although production eventually ceased and buildings suffered from repeated flooding and deterioration, the tower continues to be a testament to the hard work of generations of Halifax County families.

“The collaboration of various community groups with the city has been an essential part of the historic preservation and heritage presentation of our region,” said Tom Raab, City Manager of South Boston. “We hope our citizens fully embrace and appreciate these efforts and will join in celebrating them. “


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