Henry River Mill Houses by Jane Best

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For many years, the textile industry was a major mainstay in the North Carolina economy. Henry River Mill, near I40 between Hickory and Morganton, was one of them and housing for the employees was provided by the company. Two of the abandoned houses are shown here. There are several more clustered together here as well as an old two story general store. When the mill and village were built (c. 1905) there were 35 of these houses. About 21 are still there. The mill manufactured fine cotton yarn. Originally the power to operate it came from the river, then it converted to steam, and later to electricity. THe mill closed in the late 1960s.
It is an interesting place to see and though there are NO Trespassing signs all around, one can still see most from the road. For me, it is sort of spooky and sad to see as it represents a cultural and economic history that has been lost. forever.
The village was used as the setting for District 12 in the filming of the movie, The Hunger Games.


abandon, carolina, dilapidated, house, mill, north, rural, rustic, hunger games, movie


  • Grumpy02
    Grumpy02over 5 years ago

    Wonderful capture-very pretty, color and composition are just fabulous, well done

  • THank you, Grumpy02. It was an interesting but rather spooky place.

    – Jane Best

  • Gary L   Suddath
    Gary L Suddathover 5 years ago

    fabulous capture….your work brings life back to these old Appalachian places

  • Thank you, Gary, for your kind compliment! I think I read that there were about 39 houses like these there. I saw at least a dozen. WIll do more reading and try to post a little more history about the village and mill.

    – Jane Best

  • DonnaMoore
    DonnaMooreover 5 years ago

    Very nice. It feels like it all could come back in the blink of an eye. This would be a great setting for the being of a movie. Lovely…

  • Thank you, Donna. I would like to read more about the history of the village. I imagine at one time it was very lively and busy-but now totally abandoned-a ghost town.

    – Jane Best

  • FelicityB
    FelicityBover 5 years ago

    You have a knack of finding the most amazing places – beautiful find!

  • Thank you, FelicityB. I saw at least a dozen houses like this there and seems like I read that there were 39. Was like a ghost town.

    – Jane Best

  • Joanne  Bradley
    Joanne Bradleyover 5 years ago

    Wonderful capture looking down the hill, it gives the image a great depth of field!

  • Thank you, Joanne. THe river is at the bottom of the hill and it supplied the power for the mill. I think it was a cotton mill. I saw several houses and several outhouses too.

    – Jane Best

  • CraigsMom
    CraigsMomover 5 years ago

    Wonderful as ever, Jane. You do such a wonderful job of capturing the feel of your area of the country!

  • Thank you, CraigsMom! I am ready to see some Spring colors!

    – Jane Best

  • jinney
    jinneyover 5 years ago

    -lovely Jane!
    full of charactor!

  • Thank you SO much, Jinny. Yes, I thought the houses had “character” too.

    – Jane Best

  • Farmncamera
    Farmncameraover 5 years ago

    Jane, show me the way….. I want to move in!! Love how the light falls over the image… and gives it the warmest feeling, of home! If there was any other state I would love to live in, besides Tennessee, it would certainly be W. N. Carolina! The most beautiful country on earth.. Well, at least, that I have seen.. :) xx

  • Thank you Elaine. I think your area is lovely too and in many ways, similar to Western North Carolina.

    – Jane Best

  • AngieM
    AngieMover 5 years ago

    great shot!!

  • Thank you, ANgie. Glad you liked this one.

    – Jane Best

  • Mary Campbell
    Mary Campbellover 5 years ago

    NJ has something similar in Allaire State Park, I guess it was the practice in those days to house the workers to get them to come to these mill towns. Lots were young girls, who worked long hours in the mills. Interesting, that China and Japan did this as well in their industrialization phases. With what’s going on here and the mortgage crisis perhaps companies will have to go back to these practices.

  • THank you for commenting, Mary. You might be right-we may be heading back to something like this! Housing the employess must have been a common practice back then.

    – Jane Best

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