History of the Mill and Village

These timelines provide a glimpse into the history of the Loray mill. Here, you can access original source materials, like newspaper articles and oral histories, that offer windows into the past and reveal how we reconstruct it in the present.

Building Loray, 1899-1912 documents the construction and early years of the mill and village. Everyday Life at Loray, 1913-1923 chronicles their growth as well as the development of a distinctive community of mill employees and village residents and the social institutions and relationships they built. It also reveals the conditions that led to conflicts between workers, managers, and owners and resulted in the first Loray strikes. Working Loray, 1928-1934 tells the story of the violent 1929 Gastonia strike, its aftermath, and the Loray’s place in the General Textile Strike of 1934. These conflicts divided local people, and their memory remains contested in Gaston County.  They also were significant turning points in Southern labor history whose effects continue to reverberate today. To see more materials from our collection, especially those from the Firestone Years (1935-1993,)  visit our Digital Archive.