This old cotton mill was located in Langley, SC when I was a boy in the forties. On the night of July 3rd, 1946, while the mill was shut down for a week’s vacation, a fire broke out. Much of the wooden interior was of heart pine, and that, coupled with the oil-soaked maple floors and the inventory of raw cotton, yarn and fabric, led to the fire spreading so rapidly that all efforts to extinguish it failed.

I recall how, several miles away in Warrenville at my Grandfather’s house, we sat on the porch and watched the flames in the sky. It was daylight when it should have been dark.

Construction had started on the plant during the late 1850s, but the War of Northern Aggression delayed its completion until around 1870. The people in Langley, Bath, Clearwater, Graniteville, Vaucluse and other towns had for many years looked to this mill and to others in the valley to provide work and food on the table.

For a time, the hearts of Horsecreek Valley and of the 500 families that depended on this mill for livelihood lay broken in the ashes of the Langley Mill.


This is a picture of a limited edition print of the Langley Mill, by artist Mike Jones of Langley. The print was given to me by my daughter Cathi. After the mill had burned for several days, only the smokestack in the background remained standing.

Source — K4DPK

Advertisements