Tour highlights historic Loray Mill village

A rapidly setting sun and a bitterly cold March wind did not deter 15 brave folks from making a walking tour late Thursday afternoon through the historic Loray Mill village in west Gastonia.

The walking tour was led by Jack Kiser, a resident of Gastonia for more than 40 years and a former city planner, who now serves as project manager of the Loray Mill village revitalization initiative.

The mill is one of 800 properties around the state which Preservation North Carolina is working to save and to restore.

Just as the Loray Mill was once the single largest textile mill in the entire Southeast, it now stands as the largest historic preservation property in North Carolina under one roof.

The mill was donated to the preservation group by Firestone until it was purchased by private investors. Built in 1901, the mill was made even larger with an expansion in 1922. The structure is an example, Kiser said, of heavy mill construction, meaning the load-bearing walls grew thinner as the stories climbed. The wooden beams supporting the floors are 12 by 12 hardwood, he added.

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Gaston Gazette, 3/9/18