Cotton Factory

  • 1848 – The Harpers Ferry & Shenandoah Manufacturing Company commences production of “yard wide Sheetings and Shirtings” in a new four-story brick Cotton Factory on Virginius Island. The mill was fitted with gas lights, heated by steam with pipes, and equipped with the latest cotton machinery including carding engines, drawing frames, spinning frames, and power looms.
  • 1852 – The Harpers Ferry & Shenandoah Manufacturing Company goes bankrupt, and the Cotton Factory ceases operation.
  • 1863-1865 – The Cotton Factory is used as a Union hospital during the Civil War.
  • 1867 – The firm Child & McCreight converts the Cotton Factory into a flour mill. The establishment contained ten run of burr-stones with a daily production capacity of 500 barrels of flour. Four new Leffel Double Turbine Water Wheels, each rated at about 75 horsepower, were also installed.
  • 1870 –The Flood of 1870 destroys much of Virginius Island. Damage to the flour mill is minor, but the mill’s headrace and headgates are ruined. The mill resumes operation, but the business never recovers.
  • 1889 – The mill closes down for good after the Flood of 1889, and the building is abandoned.