Thursday, November 10, 2011

Trying to Save the Star!

A nonprofit organization, the Lindale Star Association, has been formed to preserve the Christmas Star and perpetuate the tradition. With the Lindale mill closed, portions of it in the process of demolition, and the ultimate fate of even the smokestacks unknown, the hope is to find a new, permanent, highly visible location for the star in the Lindale area with new towers from which to hang it, if
necessary. Additionally, there is the possibility that an entirely new star, perhaps even bigger and brighter, might be constructed to replace the very time-worn one first put together more than 70 years ago, in 1933.

Those interested in joining this effort, or contributing funds, can contact Jim Mehaffey, a former Floyd County commissioner, at 706-234-1667. As Wilson, the author of the accompanying article, notes: “Hopefully, the star will continue to light the village at Christmas for many years to come.”

From the Rome News Tribune, August 2007. pdf version

Lindale Mill History

In 1896 Massachusetts Mills opened a new mill in Lindale, Georgia. The mill produced 1/7 of all textiles in Georgia. 1,393 people were employed by the mill in 1903. In 1926, the mill was sold to West Point Pepperell, giving the community and the school the name, Pepperell. At the time the country was in the middle of a debate on child labor. Children as young as twelve (some say nine) were working the same weaving and spinning machines as adults were and at the same conditions that the adults were. Many people thought that the children should not be working at the conditions that they were.

In 1933 a few mill employees built a wooden star lined with lights to hang between the two smoke stacks at Christmas, starting an annual tradition in Lindale. The Lindale Star has been hung between the two smoke stacks every year during the holidays. The mill was closed in 2002 and sold to Greenwood Mills. The closing occurred due to modernization and machine driven methods, dealing a blow to the economy of the Lindale community. The new owners allowed the star to still hang between the two smoke stacks during the holidays since it was such a big part of Lindale's history. The mill has since been sold once more to its current owners, a family from Chattanooga, Tennessee. The new owners are not in favor of the star to continue hanging between the smoke stacks, believing it represents a liability to them. The star is now hung on top of Eden Mountain in Lindale to continue the tradition. The mill is slowly being torn down and cleaned up. One of the three story structures has been torn down to sell the valuable century old brick and timber. Several other of the structures are either falling in or already lay in ruins. [wikipedia]

Photos taken by Lewis Wickes Hine in the early 1900s and made available through Georgia Backroads publisher Dan Roper as 'Children of the Loom'. Brown's Guide to Georgia.

History of the Lindale Star

The cotton mill town of Lindale, Georgia started a Christmas tradition 107 years ago of hanging a star between the twin smoke stacks of the Lindale Mill.

The first Lindale Star was made by a few mill employees who built the huge star of of wood and lined it with lights. Every year since 1933, the Lindale Star has marked the Christmas season in Lindale. That is until the mill closed.

Now the Lindale Star is hung on top of Eden Mountain, continuing the tradition started so long ago.