Albemarle, North Carolina
Albemarle was established in 1841 and remained a small village/county seat for the next 60 or so years. In the early 20th century the railroad arrived and Albemarle grew into a bustling commercial/industrial center. Several textile mills were built in Albemarle including the substantial Wiscassett/Windemere Mills 1898-1903 on the North side of town. Other mills and agricultural/industrial structures were built lining the railroad tracks that traverse the town from North to South. The Wiscassett mill closed and has been mostly demolished although it's main stack and an administrative building are still standing. The residential neighborhood near the mill (Wiscassett Mill Village) is well preserved. American Fiber & Finishing is still operating just North of Main Street. There is a large and interesting grain silo in the center of town that was part of the Allstar Flour Mills which opened in 1918. There is a parking lot and paths near the former flour mill structures. The city is starting to build a walking/bicycle path along a railroad spur through town. When I was last there, the only section that had been completed was alongside the site of the former Wiscassett Mill with parking and access at the end of Glenn Street. Hopefully the path will continue through town in the future.
Much economic activity in the area has moved to strip developments and chain stores on the edge of town but the historic central business district is still vital and well preserved. There is an active preservation and redevelopment group in Albemarle that seems to be having a positive impact in the historic center of town. Star is a really interesting, very small town about 30 miles East of Albemarle (unfortunately I don't have any pictures). Badin, the aluminum factory town on beautiful Badin lake is 7 miles North of Albemarle.
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