After church on Sunday, I suggested we attend a historical open house event that was going on near by.
Most everyone from North and South Carolina has heard of Loray or Firestone mill. Its was the largest mill in Gaston county sitting at 600,000 square foot, 7 floors and over 110 years old.
The mill was originally named Firestone Mill and employed over 3,500 employees. It was the site of of Gastonia's bloody labor strike in 1929. It was later called Loray Mill.
After sitting empty for years and an eye sore for most, they have turned it into residential and commercial space. There are 5 floors of residential loft apartments and two floors of available retail space including a brewery and a fitness club.
It was so neat to see the inside of this mill as they have kept most of the old structure in place. I fell in love with the rustic yet modern style in each apartment.
We had a good time seeing some historic slide shows, listening to mill village style music and running into a few old friends. We ended up walking two hours and about three miles during our self tour. We also found the stairway the led to the top of the peak tower which was also housed a water tower at one time. It was needed in case this giant caught fire.
From the top, you could see the mountains on one side and as far as Charlotte on the other. I'd say that's at lease a 20 mile view.
The halls were long, the ceilings were high and the first two floors were like a mall as you could look down over the railing.
You can check out more photos and history of the old mill HERE.
Leaving the mill, we saw something else old.