Oakdale Cotton Mill Village, North Carolina

6/26/2017

 

Oakdale, North Carolina

Oakdale, North Carolina

Oakdale is a cotton mill village within the city of Jamestown North Carolina. It is separate from the rest of Jamestown and typical of a self-contained southern milltown. Oakdale is occupied. Oakdale Village was historically owned by the Oakdale Company who also owned the mill. The mill ceased operations around 2006 but several families continue to live in the mill houses. The entire town still seems to be owned by a single entity and whoever that is isn't maintaining the property very well. Many of the mill houses are vacant and badly deteriorated. The mill is barely secured, deteriorating and being vandalized. Aside from the recent damage, Oakdale is a mostly unaltered example of a small, turn-of-the-century, textile mill village. The Oakdale cotton mill began operating in 1865 at the site of earlier mills. Portions of the surviving mill structure were built in 1885 with additions in the 1920s and 1940s. The mill worker houses were built from 1900 to 1924. The company store, school and church are all still standing.


Oakdale, North Carolina

Oakdale, North Carolina

Oakdale Cotton Mill Village has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1976. There were no apparent efforts to preserve it when I visited in 2017. In spite of the lack of active preservation, it is still one of the best preserved textile mill villages in North Carolina. Oakdale is slowly being enveloped by sprawling suburban development extending from Greensboro to the north and High Point to the south. Hopefully Oakdale will be redeveloped as-is or preserved. Wholesale destruction though, seems distinctly possible.

 

Oakdale Historic District National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form.

 

The black and white photos below were taken by my good friend Damon Lapas. More of his photos, many from the North Carolina Piedmont, on his Flickr page here.

 

Oakdale, North Carolina

Oakdale, North Carolina (Photo by Damon Lapas)


Oakdale, North Carolina

Oakdale, North Carolina (Photo by Damon Lapas)


Oakdale, North Carolina

Oakdale, North Carolina (Photo by Damon Lapas)


Oakdale, North Carolina

Oakdale, North Carolina (Photo by Damon Lapas)


Oakdale, North Carolina

Oakdale, North Carolina (Photo by Damon Lapas)


Oakdale, North Carolina

Oakdale, North Carolina (Photo by Damon Lapas)


Oakdale, North Carolina

Oakdale, North Carolina (Photo by Damon Lapas)


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