Mill and Dam
Looking down from the Methodist Church parking is the dam on the Second Broad River. The site of the Cliffside Mill is to your right.In 1899 Raleigh Rutherford Haynes purchased several hundred acres on Second Broad River. Here adam was built to generate power for the soon to be constructed Cliffside Mills. In October of that year the foundation of the mill was started and by 1902 the first yards of gingham were being manufactured.Prior to WWII the production of gingham was stopped and transitioned to terry cloth and towels. In 1927 Cone Mills Corporation purchased controlling interest in Cliffside Mills and in 1951 Cliffside Mills was totally merged with Cone Mills Corporation.Production of denim began in the 1970's. This fabric was used exclusively by Levi Strauss Company in the manufacture of their 501 shrink to fit jeans. At the height of production one million yards of fabric per week were being produced.Competing with global textile manufacturing and labor saw the rapid decline of this once formidable US industry. Cone Mills Corporation filed for bankruptcy closing the Cliffside Plant for good in 2005 ending over a century of employment for thousands of people. Machinery was sold to foreign companies. The massive building structures have been demolished. Valuable heart pine timber beams and maple flooring was salvaged and resold. Bricks were recycled and metal sold for scrap. The two story brick building at the right of the dam is the power house and generator still in operation. The electricity being produced is sold to Duke Energy.