On Saturday, October 29, 2016, Rocky Mount Mills and UNC-Chapel Hill American Studies Department hosted a Rocky Mount Mills Worker Reunion. Former workers, their families, friends and communities shared their experiences and memories on a beautiful October day. On the Saturday afternoon special people gathered and enjoyed their past times, music and tours of the Mill and Village houses.
Rocky Mount Mills invited former Mill workers to share their stories and visit the Mill as it transforms back into a bustling center of life for Rocky Mount. During the day some attendees attended recording sessions to be interviewed about their time at the Mill.
These stories and memories will be used in a variety of ways and will be archived at Braswell Memorial Library in Rocky Mount or the libraries at UNC-Chapel Hill. Find out more here:
Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin wrote a blogpost about the event for Main Street Rocky Mount. She created the website to promote the Nashville-Rocky Mount area of eastern North Carolina, centering on the theme “honoring the past, building a future.”
“The importance of this place, and collecting the oral histories of those forever linked to the Mill, are a powerful, moving and, yes, an emotional experience that Capital Broadcasting has made possible,” she wrote of the reunion and story-gathering event.
The process at Rocky Mount Mills follows the same trajectory as CBC’s work in Durham with the transformation of the American Tobacco Campus.
Forgue Houghtlin also penned a post about that parallel.
“I don’t have a problem visualizing what a space can look like if edited, even if the walls are painted in two conflicting colors and filled with over-scaled furniture,” she writes. “I’m lucky that way. If you are having trouble ‘seeing’ the revitalization of Rocky Mount, I have an idea for you. Plan an outing ASAP to the American Tobacco Campus 318 Blackwell St (at W.Pettigrew St) Durham, NC. It is a must destination that will help you envision the backdrop for an exciting play that Capital Broadcasting has in production at Rocky Mount Mills in Rocky Mount, NC. where on stage, the sets are being designed and built, and there is a large casting call for principal actors, actresses, and walk-ons like myself that will be a part of the crowd scenes.”
Want to keep up with the latest at RMM? Sign up for the e-newsletter “What’s Happening at Rocky Mount Mills.” Subscribe by visiting www.rockymountmills.com, scroll to the bottom on the page and sign up for the newsletter. RMM has a revolving schedule of campus wide events including: live music, food trucks, special events and big announcements at Rocky Mount Mills.
SLIDESHOW: Rocky Mount Mills Worker Reunion
Thanks to Rocky Mount Mills for these capcom photos and for contributions to this capcom story.