UNC Chapel Hill team aims to preserve Rocky Mount Mills history

By Brian Shrader, WRAL anchor/reporter

— Capitol Broadcasting bought more than just an abandoned textile mill when the company purchased Rocky Mount Mills four years ago.

The firm, which is also the parent company of WRAL TV, bought an iconic site near the Tar River that has loomed large and played a big role in the Triangle’s history.

In 1939, Rocky Mount Mills was home to a thriving textile industry. An old home movie captured the tower in black-and-white glory.

When the textile business collapsed in the U.S., Rocky Mount Mills closed in 1996.

But the site, which is located in Rocky Mount, is getting a new lease on life with a renovation that aims to turn the abandoned property into a thriving office and living space.

Robert Allen, who works with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Community Histories, is trying to preserve the mill’s past. He and his team work on sites like Rocky Mount Mills to as a way to tell the stories of the people who lived and worked there.

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