Category Archives: Uncategorized

Progress on the Dye House at Glencoe


Lately, Thursdays have meant a weekly visit to our latest preservation project out at Glencoe—The Dye House.  This building has been through the ringer.  When I first visited it, I was told that it had been slated for demo by a previous developer, and I could understand why.  Some sections of wall had completely collapsed, and there were other sections that looked like they could go at any minute.

Dye House before repairDye House before repairDye House, overgrownDye House collapsed wall

When you head into a project like this, it’s best to focus on the building’s strengths instead of getting overwhelmed by anxiety about its weaknesses.   And, truly, it has many strengths–high timber ceilings, tremendous open space, large windows, masonry walls, and a back courtyard area that overlooks the mill race.  I’ve seen herons, beavers, turtles, and even a prothonotary warbler in my visits out there, and the sight of the flowing water never fails to soothe.  Now when we visit, we…

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Glencoe Artist Featured in Burlington Magazine


Recycled Folks

One of our Glencoe Mill friends, Ann Hobgood, was recently featured in a spread in the new local publicationBurlington Magazine!  Ann is a found object artist who creates “Recycled Folks” – sculptures fashioned from odds and ends from her studio located at the historic Glencoe Mill Village.  She started making art in 2006 and has incorporated objects found in her yard and the surrounding area into several unique pieces. Check out her spread on page 20 in the Burlington Magazine to learn more about her work.

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Mark your calendars!

I’ve just heard about two cool events, and I thought I’d pass them along.

1A Tribute to the Piedmont Textile Industry:  An assemblage of weavings by Lynn Pownell with the helping hands of more than 250 local residents and area visitorsMarch 5-14, 2009.

Details: Reception on Saturday, March 7, 2009, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Captain White House, Sun Trust Gallery

213 S. Main Street, Graham, NC 27253


*I’d just like to make note that I am one of those helping hands, unless, that is, Lynn had to tear out my work as part of quality control…  Oh, who am I kidding?  I bet my rows were outstanding!*

2. Haw River Clean Up, March 14, 2009, 9:30 a.m. – Noon

Every year, volunteers come out to clean up the garbage along the banks of the Haw River.  There will be a team of folks out at Glencoe, so hopefully, we’ll see you out there!  There’s more info at the Haw River Assembly website, or you can contact me for more info.

Then and now – a view from the island

Frank and I were out at Glencoe on Saturday (hooray for gorgeous North Carolina weather!), and I had the time to walk around and get take some photos.  I was able to get back on the island behind the Mill buildings.  Since the foliage hasn’t yet grown in, I could see the backs of the Picker House, the Cotton Warehouse, the Cotton Sheds, and the Napper House.  I remembered that I’d seen an old photo of the back of the Napper House taken from the island, so I tried to take a photo from a similar angle.  Based on Sanborn and other fire insurance maps, I date the photo close to 1949 (if you know better, please correct me).  How neat to have a new photo 60 years later!

Here are a couple other photos you might enjoy.  The other photos were taken while I was on the island.  I took a photo up the race toward the Napper House, down the race as it runs into the Hyrdoelectric Plant, and down past the Hydro where the race goes to rejoin the Haw River.

Googling Glencoe

I’ve been aware of and interested in Glencoe Mill for three and a half years now.  One of the first things I did when I learned about Glencoe was Google it.  (Isn’t that what you do when you encounter something/someone new?  What did we do before the internet?  I can’t remember…)  The first time I Googled Glencoe, there were a handful of sites, enough to intrigue me and give me some idea about what was out at Glencoe.  Three and a half years later, Googling* Glencoe can turn into an afternoon adventure!  I don’t want to spoil your discovery if you choose to look Glencoe Mill up on the internet, but keep your eyes peeled for great stuff.  Some oldies but goodies:

The Glencoe Research Forum – check out the library and the mill artifacts pages.

UNC has a collection of Glencoe Mill Records

Textile Industry History website

Like a Family: The making of a Southern Cotton Mill World

The Way We Lived in North Carolina

This time, I discovered, among other things, a couple new videos, some new photographs of the village and mill buildings, and a digitized book published in 1894 by the North Carolina Geological Survey which mentions Glencoe Mill.

An oral history interview with Ethel Marshall Faucette

Photos of Glencoe by Brad Farlow – you have to scroll down some to find the photos, but they are worth it!

The Forests, Forest Lands, and Forest Products of Eastern North Carolina, Bulletin No. 5, by the NCGS, digitized book from 1894.  It touches on “Waterpower on Haw River,” and Glencoe Mill is mentioned.

Here’s a new video to me that stars Jerrie Nall from the Textile Heritage Museum!

*Side note about Googling: Normally, I wouldn’t capitalize the word.  If I were emailing someone about looking something up on the internet, I’d type “googling.”  However, as I typed this blog entry, I thought I better check on the spelling.  So what did I do?  I Googled “googling.” Don’t worry, I felt only slightly ridiculous as I did it.  I discovered that technically, I should capitalize the word.  That way, when I write that I’m Googling something, it is clear that I am using the Google search engine.  So there.  Googled.

Meeting and moving forward

Despite the snow, ice, and cold last week (see Exhibit A) we met with our team (architects, contractors) out at the Cotton Warehouse on Thursday.  Adjustments and finishing touches were hammered out on the plans, and everyone is gearing up for the work.  Otis, Tim, and Tom continue to wade through the debris in the Cotton Sheds, salvaging wood and metal, sharing what we can’t use, and disposing of what’s left.  Just down the way, Bill Myers, the hydroelectric plant operator, has started repairing portions of the mill race.  I have yet to get pictures of that, but if I do, I’ll throw them up here!  For now, I’ll leave you with a scene of the winter wonderland we had in the Triangle last week.

Exhibit A - Jan. 20, 2009 snow storm

Exhibit A - Jan. 20, 2009 snow storm

Cool tool of the month

Have you ever seen the bit on the TV show, This Old House, when one of the show’s hosts produces an odd yet cool tool and asks the other hosts what they might think it is?  I had an experience something like that this morning while I was out at Glencoe.

Otis and Tim are working to pull up some floor boards and having a remarkably hard time doing so.  These boards are 1.5″ thick, and have 3 nails at each floor joist.

They used three of these nails at every floor joist.

They used three of these nails at every floor joist.

When I walked up to check in with Otis and Tim, I noticed four or five different pry bars, ranging in size from small to “grizzly” sitting off to the side, abandoned.  Otis told me that they’d been having a terrible time getting the boards up without chipping or splitting the boards until Tom showed up with the right tool for the job.  Leave it to Tom to have the neatest old tools!  Otis was so pleased with this new(old) tool that I couldn’t resist throwing it up here!

Pry bar with a nice long handle and a foot to act as a fulcrum!

Pry bar with a nice long handle and a foot to act as a fulcrum!

The foot makes a great fulcrum says Otis.

The foot makes a great fulcrum says Otis.