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The Glencoe Cotton Mill and its village have a story very similar to that of other 19th- and 20th-century mill communities across the South. The mill operated from 1880 until 1954, and its employees lived in mill houses and shopped at the company store. After it closed, the community faded into vacant houses, rutted streets, and weed-covered properties. Unlike other mills, however, Glencoe found a spark of new life. People interested in its history—headed by Graham resident Sarah Rhyne—joined together to see the property declared a national historic site. Work reclaimed the mill and preserved it for the future. Preservation North Carolina helped, as did a number of individuals from the area, and life returned. Many of the mill houses have been purchased and restored and are now home to a new generation of residents. The Textile Heritage Museum occupies the old office-store building and, with its displays, shows the history of Glencoe and southern textiles in general.

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