Mt. Vernon Mills manager tells of 165-Year mill history
Editor: Chris Lowry
Mill manager Don Henderson of denim fabric maker Mt. Vernon Mills spoke to the Seven Hills Rotary Club on Tuesday, Sept. 21 about his business and good fortune that has led to the plant operating in Chattooga County for over 165 years. Some of that "good fortune" even extended to successful negotiations during the US Civil War to keep the mill from being destroyed.
The factory produces approximately 3 million yards of fabric a week, and most of the mill's product is stitched together overseas and then shipped back to the U.S. as final product duty-free. The biggest challenges facing the company today include cotton prices and availability, along with energy costs associated with operating the mill.
The original mill, built 165 years ago, was destroyed by fire in 1878. When it was rebuilt, Henderson said, it nearly doubled in size and hasn't stopped growing. The current campus encompasses more than 1 million square feet of manufacturing space.
The family of Andrew Allgood organized the mill and owned it until around 1912, when it became a part of Riegel Textiles. It was sold to former Georgia Pacific executive Robert Pamplin in 1985, becoming part of the Mt. Vernon Mills family.
Mr. Henderson credited the longtime success of the company to a couple of most critical factors: A little bit of luck, but mostly the very good employees who have stayed with the company for several decades of its operation.
Photo Courtesy of the Rome News Tribune: Read more: RN-T.com - Manager Mt Vernon Mills bouncing back by growing adding employees