Digital North Carolina Blog

Digital North Carolina Blog

This blog is maintained by the staff of the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center and features highlights from the collections at DigitalNC, an online library of primary sources from institutions across North Carolina.

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The Avalon Mill Fire

Photographs from the Rockingham Community College, recently added to DigitalNC, tell the story of a North Carolina town that is no more.

At the turn of the twentieth century, the mill village of Avalon in Rockingham County was home to more than 450 people. More than half of the population worked at Avalon Mills, which was the community center for the town, providing housing for residents social events. Images in the collection include a photograph of the Avalon baseball team, as well as the first picnic at the Avalon picnic ground.

In June of 1911 a massive fire swept through the mill, destroying it completely. Although there was some hope that the mill might be rebuilt, the village was eventually abandoned. Many of the residents moved to Mayodan, a nearby mill town. Interestingly, they moved not only themselves but their houses as well, by hitching them to horses.

More information on the town of Avalon is available on the Avalon: documenting the rise and fall of a cotton mill village website.

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