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Location DB > United States > North Carolina > Gastonia > Loray / Firestone Mill
Loray / Firestone Mill
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 Database Info
created by pezking4 on 10/3/2007 1:22 AM
last modified by Xaq Fixx on 1/15/2020 3:55 PM
Publically Viewable Publically Viewable
This location has been labeled by its creator as Public, and therefore can be viewed by anyone.
537,000 sq ft brick structure, the main wings are five floors and the tower boasts two additional levels. Just behind the mill building is a still active portion of Firestone. The apartments are now available for rent and many are occupied, there is a gym, several retail shops, and more commercial space available for lease.
 Basic Information
Type: Building
Status: Repurposed
Accessibility: Easy
Recommendation: not very exciting
 Physical Information
300 S Firestone Street
Gastonia, North Carolina
United States
Owner: DF multifamily
  • See a map of this location
  •  Hazards
     Interesting Features
    Two huge water tanks are in the top levels of the tower which were used for a gravity based fire sprinkler system. Rooftop access provides a great view of the surrounding city and Crowder's mountain in the distance. The contents of the mill were removed after its closure, despite this security has remained high so there is no vandalism of any kind. Removal of large machines required some windows and frames to be knocked out and lowered by crane leaving random windows covered by large boards.
     Security Measures
  • fences
  • barbed wire
  • 24 hour guard
  • locked gates
  • motion alarms inside
  •  Historical Dates
    Built: 1901
    Closed: 1993
     Required Equipment
  • flashlight
  •  Recommended Equipment
    Built in 1901; Loray mill was the largest mill in existence when it was completed.

    The Strike of 1929:
    The Strike at Loray Mill started at 3pm on April 1, 1929 as Fred Beal took a vote of the workers, which was unanimously in favor of a strike. The relatively low-key atmosphere was replaced by tension as Mayor Rankin then asked for help from the National Guard, which arrived on April 3rd. The strike continued to escalate throughout the month. Nearly 100 masked men destroyed the National Textile Workers Union’s headquarters on April 18th, resulting in the National Textile Workers Union starting a tent city on the outskirts of town that was protected by armed strikers at all times. The situation continued through the next few months as the workers continued to strike despite the return to production at the Loray Mill, thus making their situation appear hopeless. On June 7th, 150 workers marched out to the mill to call out the night shift; this demonstration was attacked and dispersed by sheriff deputies. Later that night, four officers including Police Chief Aderholt arrived at the tent city and demanded that the guards hand over their weapons. When the strikers refused, an officer attempted to wrench a gun away from a striker resulting in several shots being fired and Chief Aderholt being mortally wounded.

    During the early part of September, mobs of men gathered up strikers and ran them out of the county. These actions came to a head when, on September 14th, a truck containing 22 strikers was chased down and fired upon. One female striker was killed and seven men were charged with murder (six of them were employed by the Loray Mill.) Overall the strike was not a success but resulted in worker’s rights throughout the country despite setting back labor unions decades in the South.

    The Firestone Rubber Company purchased the mill in 1935 and still operate a more modern facility on the rear of the property to this day. The main mill was closed in 1993 and has been sealed off except to select visitors since then.
     Media Coverage

     Future Plans
    Revitalization complete - it is now open as an apartment center.

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     Photo Galleries
    Click to view gallery
    Photo Gallery 1
    Sun, Sep 30th, 2007
    posted by pezking4
    25 pictures
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    Photo Gallery 2
    Thu, Oct 4th, 2007
    posted by pezking4
    25 pictures
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    Photo Gallery 3
    Thu, Oct 4th, 2007
    posted by pezking4
    25 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    Photo Gallery 4
    Thu, Oct 4th, 2007
    posted by pezking4
    24 pictures
    Click to view gallery
    July 2012
    Sun, Jul 8th, 2012
    posted by Crypton
    12 pictures

    Add your own photos

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     Web Links

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     Moderator Rating
    The moderator rating is a neutral rating of the content quality, photography, and coolness of this location.

    This location has not yet been rated by a moderator.
    This location's validation is current. It was last validated by Emperor Wang on 1/15/2020 4:43 PM.

     Latest Changes
  • on Jan 15 20 at 16:43, Emperor Wang validated this location
  • on Jan 15 20 at 16:43, Emperor Wang made this location public
  • on Jan 15 20 at 15:55, Xaq Fixx changed the following: Owner, Street Address, Future Plans, Web Links
  • on Feb 19 18 at 19:10, Explorer Zero validated this location
  • on Feb 19 18 at 16:16, Xaq Fixx changed the following: Description, Web Links
  • on Jun 3 17 at 20:30, Explorer Zero validated this location
  • on Jun 3 17 at 15:02, Scaggs changed the following: Status, Accessibility, Hazards, Recommendation
  • on Dec 20 16 at 17:43, Emperor Wang validated this location
  • on Dec 20 16 at 17:43, Emperor Wang changed the following: Display Name
  • on Sep 12 12 at 13:34, Opheliaism validated this location
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