Creating the Modern South: Millhands and Managers in Dalton, Georgia, 1884-1984

By Douglas Flamming | Go to book overview

ECHOES: THE CrownAMERICA CENTENNIAL, 1984

In 1984 the old Crown Mill grounds came alive as the corporation celebrated its centennial. The motto of the day, "A Century of Textile Product Excellence," was emblazoned on large banners that hung at each end of a huge yellow-and-white-striped canopy. The tent towered over long lines of tables, offering shade to hundreds of Crown's current and former employees, who had gathered to enjoy an "old-fashioned barbecue picnic" and the music of bluegrass legend Bill Monroe. A hundred years earlier, the land surrounding Hamilton's Spring had been abuzz with construction crews building Dalton's first large-scale textile factory. Now, in the Carpet Capital of the World, whose industrial output was nothing short of phenomenal, the old mill grounds were an appropriately quaint place to celebrate a century of "continuous operation."1

It was a curious centennial, given that the Crown Cotton Mills had been shut down for fifteen years. But the corporation had survived the closing of the cotton mills and, in 1972, had changed its name to CrownAmerica Incorporated. This new appellation reflected both the new direction taken by the corporation and, in a larger sense, the integration of southern industry into the national economy. During the

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