As many of the people who worked in textile mills passes away, much of the history and culture goes with them. Fortunately, there are organizations dedicated to help preserve this history such as the Greenville Textile Heritage Society in Greenville, South Carolina. Thanks to the people who are a part of GTHS, those of us interested in textile history have a contact to obtain information. They also sponsor the Textile Heritage Week and the Textile Heritage Festival in October, the God and Country Rally for the Fourth of July, and more. They have quarterly meetings and seminars as well.
They preserve not just the textile history, but the activities that were a part of mill village life. Sports was a major recreation, and mill villages had their own teams for baseball and basketball. The Society also has a band that performs in the area (and are very very good) and a Choral Society. The Company Store offers books, art prints and music.
The GTHS is an excellent source of information, with a listing of mills, videos, links and more, and they’re always happy to answer questions. The membership is open to any interested persons who would like to join the Society for a $20 annual fee, which includes a quarterly newsletter. The proceeds go to various fundraising efforts such as the Textile Heritage Park. Which reminds me… my membership for 2013 is due. I’d better take care of it!