Growing up in North Carolina you knew about ‘cotton mills’. There were over 20 in the small town of Belmont at one time. We lived in a mill house once, when dad pastored Burlington, NC. The church had rented a house for the former pastor, so we moved into the large rental house.
My dad was always conservative with our money and the church’s money. His statement, the church money is God’s money. The church owned an older mill house right beside the church. Dad and mom were not strangers to mill houses, having worked in a textile mill before he began his ministry. He consulted the men of the church and asked what it the problem with the house? There were some problems, and the main one was water.
“We will dig a well!” In fact that is what they did. Dad showed them how two use the pick and shovel with shortened handles. I was 6 at the time. I remember seeing him stand in the back yard and start digging turning in a circle making a six foot hole. Dad made a windless and they took turns going deeper. they hit rock and dad showed them how he could use dynamite. The lowered him into the hole and he drilled a hole and planted the dynamite and lit the fuse. the men used the windless to bring him up. Then they rolled dad’s utility trailer over the hole and pretty soon we heard the WHOOMP!
Dad announced, no more digging today, we must allow the air to clear.
Anyway the well was dug and we moved into the old house. In this house Shirl and I shared a bedroom. The rental had 3 bedrooms. But it saved the church a lot of money. That was dad.
The other day Shirl invited me to Belmont’s Historical house. It is a fine old home, and on the property they have moved an old mill house in and put it back in the condition of the 1940’s.
Featured also was a home-made checker board using bottle caps as the ‘men’. Clothes of the day were on display
The kitchen had the ice box and the kerosene stove. The ice box and stove are pretty fancy for the time.
This one has a heater in the bedrooms, most did not. Kids used hot water bottles, but mostly it was a brick heated up and wrapped in a towel for cold feet.
Shirl invited me out to the back porch where the toilet was. It was the old high tank that you pulled the chain to flush. Locked at this time. Shirl was cleaning the back porch Some of you remember the wringer washer. Note the spigot on the back porch.
Many families had pianos. in the living room or in the big hall way. Fire places were normal and also cast iron heaters.
Entertainment was ‘watching the radio’.
OR.. Sitting on the front porch and swinging.
Most of the visiting, drinking sweet and just having fun was on the front porch. If the house was actually on a hill, the kids had extra places to play.
Shirl enjoys volunteering at the Historical House. I like it because it keep her out of trouble and off the streets., .
Thanks for coming this way.
The houses rented to the workers by the room. I believe it was 25¢ room per week. 3BR = 75¢.
Sherry’s family never owned a car (except for one short time), they walked or took the bus. Mostly walked to town, work, church and visiting.
Bud Coren had one of these on the Climax Mill Village.