Thursday, May 8, 2008

West Point

Nellie Melton, George Marion at the end of Woolen Mills Road, this area referred to as "under the hill" by residents of the Woolen Mills Village

The United States government was a large purchaser from 1884 on. Large amounts went to disabled soldiers' homes. From 1899 until at least the middle 1930's, the cadets of West Point were clothed in Charlottesville fabrics. Beginning in the late eighties, the mill succeeded in surplanting foreign mills as the manufacturer of fine doeskins used in the pants and trimmings for the highest ranking army officers. This was accomplished only after six months of experimentation and was quite impressive since no American mill was able to make such fabrics. Thereafter, on several occasions, other mills underbid the Charlottesville company and won this contract, but in every case the contractor gave up his efforts and bought the material from Marchant's firm.--Poindexter

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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

uniforms for the letter carriers

Marion House

Beginning in 1887, the mill won in competition with all the mills in the country a large contract to supply 1000 uniforms for the letter carriers of Philadelphia. Two years later, a postoffice circular calling for bids on these uniforms set as the standard cloth certain meltons and doeskins made by the Charlottesville Woolen Mills. This specification was not, of course, designed to give the company a monopoly of that contract but such was the result since no other mill could reproduce the high quality of the cloth.--Harry Poindexter

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

effects of the 1893 crash

Hudson-Baltimore-Pritchett-Starkes Houses

The effects of the 1893 crash were severe and lingering. The depression was complicated by the tariff of 1894 which lowered the amount of protection. Changes in machinery and in types of product seemed obligatory in the face of new foreign competition. Samuel N. D. North, secretary of the National Association of Wool Manufacturers, argued that:
Many manufacturers will find themselves compelled to change altogether the character of their products... At present it seems as though the hardest struggle was before the mills which have been engaged in making the medium cassimeres and similar goods for the masses. These mills have had the American manufacture to themselves... That great advantage will no longer be theirs.
--Harry Poindexter

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Woolen Mills dam

Annie Marion, c. 1930, picnic on Sand Island

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Sunday, April 8, 2007


Page from the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Research remains to be done regarding the Woolen Mills School, located at the corner of Woolen Mills Road and Riverview Street. The Woolen Mill provided the building, the County of Albemarle supplied a teacher. The page above from a book serially owned by Woolen Mills School graduates George Marion, Thomas Baltimore and Bertha Haggard. It is dated on the front leaf "2/29/29 T.J.B".

Thomas Jefferson Baltimore was the son of John Wesley Baltimore (brick mason) and Mary Morris Starkes Baltimore. Thomas was born September 13, 1911.

Reportedly, Mamie and John named their son TJ because his birth was one of the first to take place at Martha Jefferson Hospital.

In 1909, Mamie was on the Mill payroll as a spinner earning seventy cents per day.

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