The Rock Hill Herald on Feb. 3, 1881 announced – “The Charleston Manufacturing Co., will make cotton goods and yarns. The building will be on the most improved plans and will be run by steam. It will have between 12,000 and 15,000 spindles and will employ between 500 – 700 employees, mainly women, girls and boys. The Charleston Bagging Factory started two years ago has been a major success.”
The Rock Hill Herald on April 7, 1881 reported – “The Charleston Manufacturing Co., has been organized. Three-forth of the stock is held in Charleston while the remainder was subscribed in Baltimore and Boston.”
City Directories and History: Enjoy added information on this National Register property.
(Charleston Manufacturing Company; Charleston Cotton Mills started by industrialist, Mr. William Gregg)
The Cigar Factory is significant as a largely intact example of a late nineteenth century industrial plant built in the Victorian commercial style. Also important for its contributions to Charleston’s economy from post-Reconstruction through the Great Depression and on into the 1970s, the firm was incorporated as the Charleston Manufacturing Company in 1880 and has been in operation since construction of the building was completed in 1882. Originally built as a textile factory, the building became locally known as the Cigar Factory when the American Cigar Company purchased the property in 1912. The main building is five stories of brick in common bond with a flat metal roof, and central six-story brick water tower, which also houses an elevator. Immediately adjacent to the water tower is a four-story masonry addition without windows, which was part of the cooling and dehumidifying system added during the Cigar Factory period (1912-1973). The property also includes a ca. 1885 two-story brick addition, a two-story brick office building used originally as the picker house, two two-story brick engine houses, and a one-story brick boiler house. The boiler house also has an associated five-story brick chimney. The building is also one of the few surviving large-scale industrial buildings from the Victorian era in Charleston. Listed in the National Register November 25, 1980. [Courtesy of the SC Dept. of Archives and History]
The Yorkville Enquirer reported on March 25, 1891 – “Mildridge Dorn, the night fireman at the Charleston Cotton Mills, was blown through a window last Monday by the explosion of a steam pipe. He landed on the outside of the building and suffered a fractured skull. He is expect to survive.”
The Yorkville Enquirer of May 11, 1892 reported, “The stockholders of the Charleston Cotton Mill are considering moving their plant to the Lockhart Shoals on the Broad River in Union Co. because they are having a hard time procuring enough white labor in Charleston. The shoals are owned by Col. Charles Farr and are said to furnish the finest water power in the south. The area has been looked at by Col. Joseph Walker and D.E. Converse of Spartanburg.”
Other sources of interest: Charleston Tax Payers of Charleston, SC in 1860-61 and the Dwelling Houses of Charleston by Alice R.H. Smith – 1917 The HCF may also have additional data at: Past Perfect and further research can be uncovered at: Charleston 1861 Census Schedule or The Charleston City Guide of 1872
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