Located in historic Walhalla, South Carolina, the mill has a rich and traditional past. Originally the Victor Monaghan Mill, the facility first opened
its doors around 1895. It remained this way for its first 50 years, growing in size both in facilities and in the workforce that lived off of the mill. In 1945,
the Chicopee Manufacturing Company, a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson, took ownership. When the mill was the Victor Monaghan Mill, it was a traditional southern cotton
mill. However, when the Chicopee company took over, the mill began to manufacture gauze, bandages, and specialty diapers that don’t wrinkle.
Chicopee was later bought out by the Avondale Manufacturing Company, giving it its current name of Avondale Mill. During this transition, the mill became a regional
producer of denim product until it shutdown in the late 1990s.
Like most mill towns, the population was wedded to the company and the company provided almost all of the the town’s needs. Still around the mill today, are the remains of “Mill Hills”, small groupings of a dozen or so houses constructed and organized in the “salt box” style. There was also a company run store, laundry, canteen, barbershop, school, and a baseball field where the Chicopee Chix would play.
The mill was constructed from timbers which were cut and milled on site using longleaf heart pine for the large timbers and columns. Large pieces of granite were used as piers for the buildings which supported massive pine joists. Thousands of board feet of beautiful decking has been recovered from this historical mill as well as hundreds of massive timbers and columns. The brick used to build this mill was also formed onsite and thousands upon thousands of bricks have been separated, cleaned and packaged ready for their next life. The granite piers, as well as granite window pediments, large antique scales, steel sliding doors, and many more amazing things have been safely recovered and stored.