Wednesday, March 12, 2008

drought and high water

Woolen Mills baseball team, courtesy of the Baltimore-Marion collection.

Moving from the crippled conditions of 1883 to vigorous health in 1914 was not an easy matter. Nor did recovery come immediately on the heels of the new injection of capital. Until 1886 the mill ended each year so deeply in red ink that a $30,000 deficit accumulated. In part this was brought about by a general depression in the woolen industry, and in part it was the result of' an inefficient general superintendent who had been hired to relieve Marchant of that responsibility. Furthermore, first a drought and then high water, ever recurring plagues, struck the hapless mill. In spite of a rigid retrenchment program, no common stock dividend was available during those critical years. The benefits which Henry Grady saw in an industrialized South were late in reaching the Charlottesville Woolen Mills.--Harry Poindexter

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