Christmastime was on the minds of mill workers at Greensboro’s Revolution Mills in October of 1920, when the regional Mill News: The Great Southern Weekly for Textile Workers was published. The newspaper was “Devoted to the Textile Industries” with a particular focus on the latest advancements in living standards in mill villages across the region. As tsars and kings in Europe toppled during the World War, owners of mill villages locally wanted to make sure there was contentment in the American South by improving overall living standards. Mills from Alabama to Virginia are included in the newspaper, made available online through the University Library of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The paper provides insights into mill village life in several other villages in Greensboro such as Proximity and Pomona, but this cheery review of the Revolution Mill Village (today centered around 1200 Revolution Mill Drive) provides insights on their own Christmas traditions.
Revolution Cotton Mills
MANUFACTURERS OF COTTON FLANNELS
GREENSBORO, N. C.
On the northern boundary of the historic city of Greensboro, on the waters of North Buffalo Creek in a beautiful plateau section of North Carolina, is located the plant of Revolution Cotton Mills, the largest of its kind in the South.
In building these large mills, the first thought in the minds of the owners was the health, comfort and happiness of those who had to live near them and spend their time working in them. This industrious city was built on a slight elevation so as to furnish perfect drainage and beautiful landscape views in every direction.
The snug and comfortable homes, with cool artesian water and electric lights furnished to everyone, are set well back from the streets, and are surrounded by lovely green lawns and large shade trees. Beautiful flower gardens are in evidence everywhere, causing the village to border upon the unique.
The problem of caring for the physical and mental development of children and others was not forgotten, and to this end schools with spacious rooms and large playgrounds surrounding them, were erected. More than a dozen teachers are employed in these schools. Welfare cottages were built, and kindly disposed workers, together with trained nurses, were put on full-time duty, to care for and teach those who wish to take advantage of the privilege.
The mills are within a mile of the heart of Greensboro, N. C., and are located in a county that has a greater number of miles of hard-surface roads than any other county in the State and they are connected with the city by fifteen minute street railway schedule.
Amusements have been provided for all the folk in the village. Picture shows, bowling alley, public parks and a large recreation building are numbered among these. Living and working conditions have reached the top notch in this contented and home-like village. A walk through this industrial city, comprised of more than five hundred homes, reveals bright, happy children with faces beaming with intelligence, and contented old folks. Vigorous young manhood, as well as the blushing maiden, is in evidence here, and to judge from their appearance, one would think that their work were just play for which they got pay.
One of the biggest fellows in the whole place around Christmas time is Santa Claus, who has a date each year with the children, and has never failed to put in his appearance every time–big, fat and jolly, with his sacks over flowing he always comes. He creeps into every pay envelope and every school desk. There is no home into which he does not find a way to enter. Scrooge and Marley are two characters unknown to the people who live in this modern village. Happiness and “Hello, Bill!” is the password here.
Written by Benjamin Briggs
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