Spray Cotton Mills – SOLD!
- 165,000 square feet
- Lot Size: 5.6 acres / Zoning: I-1
, Regional Director
Preservation NC, Piedmont Office
Overlooking the beautiful Smith River and the Spray Canal, the 1896 Spray Cotton Mill was the first of eight mills constructed by B. Frank Mebane (and the longest-operating) within the Spray Industrial Historic District, an impressive concentration of North Carolina’s textile mill architecture in Eden, NC. The mill is available for a 40% state mill tax credit, as the eligibility certification was completed prior to December 31, 2014.
The two-story brick edifice has a full basement level creating three expansive floors used for mill operations. The original structure was doubled in size around 1898 with further additions over the years (the most recent built in 1994) resulting in approximately 155,000 square feet. Other features are typical of the era’s mill architecture with heavy timber supports and wood floors on the interior, a low-pitched gable roof, heavy exposed rafters along the eaves, and a series of enclosed towers. A three-story flat-roofed office wing (approx. 10,000 sq. ft.) is enhanced by corbelled brickwork and large segmentally arched windows.
The mill was built on the site of the former Willson Aluminum Company where the process for making Calcium Carbide and Acetylene was discovered spawning a new industry for residential and industrial lighting which evolved into Union Carbide Corp. Today, the landscape around the mill consists of canals, waterfalls and a gentle slope toward the river. An impressive dike system and common access/driveway leading to additional parking is located on the river side.
The building is in good condition with the most recent roof installed in the 1990s. Spray Cotton Mill is a contributing structure in the Spray National Register Historic District.
The Town now known as Eden was created in 1967 from three separate towns—Leaksville, Spray and Draper. Located at the confluence of the Dan and Smith Rivers, the area has an important industrial heritage with an impressive collection of large mill buildings powered by the nearby rivers and canals, charming commercial centers, and an array of residential neighborhoods populate the bluffs surrounding the community. Today residents and visitors enjoy the bountiful recreational opportunities including greenway trails, camping, kayaking and canoeing, festivals celebrating its musical heritage that includes Bluegrass legend Charlie Poole, and tours. Located near the Virginia border, Eden is 30 minutes from Greensboro, 40 minutes from Winston-Salem, and two hours from Charlotte and Raleigh. For more information, visit www.exploreedennc.com, www.ci.eden.nc.us, www.ncnorthstar.com/tourism.html, and www.co.rockingham.nc.us.