Mooresville Mill Village National Register Study List Application Part 10 B. History

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Part VI. 1954-2000

With this transition came a flurry of renovations and improvements to the houses which had been well-maintained, but basic, under mill ownership. Back porches were enclosed to create more living space; homeowners hired locals to install a cabinet systems in kitchens which once consisted only of a tub sink and a potbelly stove.7 Indoor bathtubs became standard8. New wood floors and linoleum were laid over the single-layer tongue-and-groove floor. Crawlspaces were enclosed, protecting plumbing systems from the annual freezes. Some homeowners sprung for new asbestos shingles, vaunted for its maintenance-free beauty.

As for the mill itself, once in the hands of Burlington Industries, the trajectory of Mooresville Mills followed that of the textile industry in the South. The home-grown mill continued to be the largest employer in the county until it was shuttered by Burlington in 1999, but profits and management were steered from a distance.

The health of the housing stock over this 50 year period followed a common arc. In the early years, the pride of homeownership reigned, with homeowners investing and maintaining well-groomed homes. In the last half of the period, as these first homeowners grew older and passed away, large numbers of mill houses fell into the hands of individual landlords, and fell into disrepair.

During this period, a block of mill houses was lost. These houses were moved to various locations outside the mill village. A number of commercial buildings on the mill lot were torn down to make way for parking.The area where the community center once stood was sold and parceled off into a motel. trailer park, and gas station. But the residential area remained otherwise undisturbed.

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