From Bit + Grain (co-founded by Folklore MA Sandra Davidson!), “Worth Saving” chronicles the efforts to preserve Gastonia’s historic Loray Mill, once a the largest textile mill in the South. A combination of exceptional persistence and, crucially, federal tax credits allowed Preservation North Carolina to works successfully with developers, who have renovated the 600,000 square-foot building and are now leasing space.
The Mill will host the Loray History Center and inspired Digital Loray, a Digital Innovation Lab project spearheaded by Robert C. Allen, James Logan Godfrey Distinguished Professor in the Department of American Studies. Digital Loray is a collection of material relating to the history of the mill and its mill village, which can be deployed across a wide range of on-site and online public programming. This material has been collected from the UNC Library, national and regional archival sources, local cultural heritage organizations, churches, and local collectors. Digital Loray currently contains nearly 1000 objects with links to many more, including photographs, oral history interviews, musical recordings, films, maps, census enumerations, and newspapers.