*Admission to the museum is FREE (donations graciously accepted).
Address: 2406 Glencoe Street, Burlington, North Carolina 27217
The Textile Heritage Museum located in northern Alamance County, North Carolina (6 miles north of I-40/I-85 and 3 miles north of downtown Burlington) is currently the only museum in North Carolina solely dedicated to the preservation of the textile industry of the Old North State. Inside this 6,000 square foot historic structure, formerly the company store and management offices, are hundreds of original artifacts representing more than 50 cotton and textile mills across the state of North Carolina. Such names as Burlington Industries (Burlington Mills), Cone Mills, Copland Mills, Holt Hosiery Mills, and Glen Raven Mills, are some of the prominent textile giants distinguished here. Within this captivating exhibit gallery are military uniforms and equipment manufactured in America’s textile mills, weaving looms and spinning wheels, sock making machinery, rug machinery of the famous Karastan Rugs, company store items, office typewriters, adding machines, and other related equipment, and an amazing collection of thousands of original business documents, personal accounts, photographs, and vintage mill fabric samples (not all on exhibit) are among the textile related memorabilia from the late 1800’s to mid-1900’s.
Begun in 2002 by a group of local inspired citizens, these dedicated folks struck out to preserve the heritage of an industry which built North Carolina and the Southeastern United States following the horrific devastation of the American Civil War (1861-1865). Mr. & Mrs. George and Jerolene (Jerrie) Nall, Dr. Sam Powell and Mrs. Kathy Barry joined together to head up the restoration and preservation efforts of the former company store and offices of the Glencoe Cotton Mill to establish the Textile Heritage Museum, Inc. Prior to their commitment, the Glencoe Cotton Mill and Mill Village (which included the company store & management offices) had been placed on the National Register of Historic Places on February 16, 1979.
While this concerted effort was going on, Preservation North Carolina had been overseeing the restoration of the mill homes in the village. Built from 1880-1882, the dwellings had fallen into extremely poor condition when the project began, but intrigued individuals from across the United States discovered this unique historic community and moved in to join this great endeavor. As the homes came back to life the museum gradually evolved, and it became a cornerstone for the village of Glencoe in March 2004 when it officially opened to the public. In September 2018, the Textile Heritage Museum, Inc. joined in a partnership with the Alamance Parks Department to insure the long term future of this current 501-C3 Non-Profit museum. Visitation continues to increase with additional special events, educational school programs, and further marketing and promotion in the community and across the state.
The Glencoe Mill Village Historic District contains 41 residential homes and mill structures that make up this quaint hospitable neighborhood. The textile mill complex includes a three-story brick structure of Italianate style architecture, a hydroelectric power house, the picker house, a finishing room and napper house, a dye house, cotton warehouses, storage structures, and a company store and management offices. Along Hwy 62 stands the grand home built by the Holt Family that was lived in by Robert Holt for some 23 years. (Now a private residence owned by Elon University).
Today, the village of Glencoe has been largely restored and preserved by private residents and organizations. The neighborhood consists of delightfully colored original and a few reconstructed frame houses where mill employees and their families lived and helped build the community of Alamance County. The original machine shop is the headquarters of the Alamance Parks Department Northern Division (Alamance Parks Department Headquarters is located at Cedarock Park) with artist studios located on the second floor. Also, located in the complex is the Alamance Partnership for Children, Carolina Chic Home Decor, and The Chairman’s Retreat/Cutting Board Restaurant Special Event Center located in the former dye house facility. There are some extensive hiking trails with foot bridges along the picturesque Historic Haw River, where visitors can also put in kayaks and canoes as well as fish. The impressive mill dam is another impressive aspect of the Historic Glencoe Mill Village.