Sunday, January 20, 2008

fish pond

Woodie Pritchett and Louise Baltimore c. 1930, in the backyard of 1604 Woolen Mills Road. Louise met Woodie at their workplace, the Charlottesville Woolen Mills. They married, October 21, 1933.

This writer has been unable to find statistics to indicate prevailing wage scales at the mill. In 1881, however, it appears that sixty employees divided a sum of $16,138, which indicated an average wage of only $270. These figures covered a thirteen-month period and become even more strikingly low when one considers that an average conceals the wage scale which separated various classes of workers. Moreover, nearly two hundred persons were dependent on these wages for their livelihood. And in February, 1879, a "general reduction in values" forced a ten percent cut in wages and salaries which lasted for a year. --Harry Poindexter

Labels: ,

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Charlottesville Factory

right, Louise Hollaway (Baltimore), center W.F. Pritchett, background, the Woolen Mill and Monticello mountain
During the period from 1846 to 1850 when the Parishes, Jones, and Randolph owned the business operating at "Pireus," the company became known locally as the Charlottesville Factory. Apparently there was no important reason for the change; local customers probably resisted the more cumbersome title using the proprietors' names. Yet it is certain that during those few years, the factory, especially that portion devoted to the making of cotton and woolen cloth, reach a level of maturity for its day and section. By 1850, when Henry Jones bought out the other interests, the company was making a large variety of goods. Coarse or medium quality jeans and linseys for servants and slaves were made from wool. Cotton yarns, baggings, and pantaloon drillings added to the offerings of the mill, and both raw cotton and wool were carded for those who desired to spin and weave their own material. The buyer was required to pay a part of his bill in the form of raw wool and he could get cloth made to his own order from cotton or wool he brought to the plant. The mill thus extended a type of custom service wedded to a barter system which guaranteed to the customer the quality of raw materials used in making whatever he desired. However, this was not unique but rather conformity to the pattern of growth of early mills.--Harry Poindexter

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Mabel Pritchett Marrs

left to right, Louise Baltimore Pritchett, Mae Pritchett, Mabell Pritchett. Louise met her husband Woodie (Mabel and Mae's brother) when they were working at the Woolen Mill

Mabel Pritchett Marrs, 88, of the Woolen Mills neighborhood, passed away Tuesday, April 10, 2007.

Born on August 16, 1918, in Proffit, she was the daughter of the late James F. and Lelia Kirby Pritchett. Her husband, George L. Marrs; six brothers, Allen, Woodie, Tony, Whitelaw, Carl and Robert Pritchett; and two sisters, Lula Moon and Alice Mae Via, also preceded her in death.

Mabel worked for Charlottesville Woolen Mills from 1941 until it closed. She retired from Sperry Marine after 20 years and was a member of the First Baptist Church on Park St.

She is survived by a daughter, Carolyn M. Morris and her husband, Donald, of Dyke; a son, Robert L. Marrs of Charlottesville; five grandchildren, Bill Sperry, Pam Toney, Robbie Marrs, Stacy Dibble, and Kate Marrs; five great grandchildren, Kristin and Michael Toney, Olivia and Ethan Sperry, and John Michael Dibble; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

A graveside service will be held 2 p.m. Friday, April 13, 2007, at Riverview Cemetery with the Reverend Dave Johnson officiating.

Memorial donations may be made to the First Baptist Church, Park St. Building Fund, 735 Park St. Charlottesville, VA 22902.

Friends may send condolences to the family at

Labels: ,

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.

Labels: , , ,