Rocky Mount Mills, like other textile mills in the South, constructed an entire neighborhood to house its (white) workforce. Built between 1885 and 1940 and adjacent to the mill itself, the mill village allowed the mill to accommodate rapid increases in employee numbers owing to the post-Civil War cotton industry expansion. The mill village – called “mill hill” by mill employees – inevitably enabled workers and their families to develop close relationships with each other and a sense of community and community identity.
The village was incorporated into the City of Rocky Mount in the 1920s and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999. The historic district includes about 70 houses. Mill employees, however, did live outside the mill village sometimes. The map provides information on the individual homes based on the National Register application. Also included in this exhibit is a directory with the list of individuals who lived in each house.
In the Rocky Mount Mills Historic District nomination form, there are primarily three types of mill houses identified: Type A, Type B, and Type C.
Type A: one-story, one room deep, gabled, saddlebag of frame construction with weatherboard siding, three-bay main elevation, gabled rear one-story ell, less than full facade hip-roofed porch with plain or chamfered porch posts, four-over-four sash windows, center brick chimney standing seam tin roof, and a single, central door entering into a vestibule in front of the chimney.
Type B: one-story, one room deep, gabled, saddlebag of frame construction with weatherboard siding, four-bay main elevation, gable-roof rear one-story ell, less than full facade hip-roofed porch with plain or chamfered porch posts, four-over-four sash windows, center brick chimney, standing seam tin roof, and two exterior doors entering each room.
Type C: two-story, single-pile duplex of frame construction, with weatherboard siding, rear one-story addition, and less than full facade hip-roofed porch.
Although there are three main types of houses, houses of other styles and architectures exist and are listed accordingly in the map.
Notes about the map: “1960s” in the “Still Standing?” attribute denote that the house was razed in the 1960s.