Saltbox House, circa 1890, Dixie Cotton Mills; photograph by Brian Brown Photography/Vanishing Media USA 2008-2022, accessed July, 2022. [ vanishinggeorgia.com ]
The Dixie Cotton Mills and Mill Village Historic District [†] is located approximately one mile east of downtown LaGrange. The district is composed of a mill complex and mill village on the north side of a railroad with a reservoir pond just south of the railroad. Constructed between 1896 and the 1940s, the mill complex includes one- and two- story, predominantly red brick buildings. The 1896 two-story, rectangular, red brick main mill building with primarily large rectangular openings with multi-pane metal-frame windows, had several additions including a 1906 slasher room, a 1913 addition at the west end, and c.1941 expansions along the south and north elevations., The mill complex includes a row of five historic warehouses on the east side, a c.1913 office building, a kitchen/office building by 1948, a c.1913 transformer house, and a modern smokestack. The mill village extends east and west along Greenville Street from the mill, roughly east to Graphic Street, west to Front Street, and north to DeGroat Street and Georgia Avenue. Directly across Greenville Street from the mill, at the center of the district, is a large open block with a parking lot and a chain link baseball backstop marking the no longer extant athletic fields. The Dixie Methodist Church on Fair Street is the only extant community landmark within the district. Houses in the mill village are single-family and duplex, wood-framed buildings with masonry foundations, front porches, and common setbacks. House types include Saltbox, Shotgun, double-shotgun, pyramidal cottages, gable-on-hip cottages, side-gabled and gabled wing cottages, all with relatively simple layouts and either no style or minimal Folk Victorian style elements. Seven larger Craftsman-style houses built for managers/supervisors are located on Greenville and the discontiguous 601 Hill Street, which is about 0.2 miles outside the main district. Contributing resources in the district consist of 133 buildings including 5 mill buildings, 127 historic mill houses, one church, and 2 sites: the reservoir and the athletic fields/parking lot site.
The Dixie Cotton Mills and Mill Village Historic District represents the late 19th- and early 20th-century development of manufacturing mills with associated mill villages in Georgia. The district is significant for its development as a mill complex with mill village by the ownership of the Dixie Cotton Mills beginning in 1896. The company expanded the mill and the mill complex throughout its active history and constructed more mill housing through the mid-20th century. The district is also significant in the area of Industry for the mill's role as a manufacturing facility, and as a good example of the changing textile manufacturing industry in LaGrange, producing various products including light fabrics initially, cotton duck, rayon/synthetics, and terry cloth. Additionally, the district is significant for its excellent examples of mill village housing. A number of the house types represented in the district, including saltbox, gabled ell, saddlebag, shotgun, double shotgun, pyramidal cottage, and bungalows, have been identified in Georgia's Living Places: Historic Houses in Their Landscaped Settings, a statewide context study. The saltbox house type, of which there are ten examples in the district, is considered a rare type in Georgia. The district's mill buildings also represent both innovative and standard methods of construction for manufacturing facilities. The Dixie Cotton Mills completely divested of the mill village properties by 1963 and had several ownership changes over its active manufacturing history, before operations ceased and the mill was closed permanently in 2004. The district retains a very high level of integrity.
Dixie Cotton Mills and Mill Village Historic District, March, 2022, www.dca.ga.gov, accessed July, 2022.
Chattahoochee Street • DeGroat Street • Dixie Street • Fair Street • Front Street • Georgia Avenue • Graphic Street • Hill Street