ONCE I WAS LOST BUT NOW AM FOUND
Looking at the photograph above I can hear you saying, “Stepheny, you’re excited about this?” I absolutely am because I believe in the “blind, but now can see” phenomenon. You have to go and see what is happening with the Mill Village and you too will be intrigued. People have, and are, moving into this historical area. They are buying into a lifestyle and becoming a part of a unique opportunity. I hope the residents take great pride in saving, loving, and restoring the past history their homes represent, bringing life back into the area that has a great future.
In the 1910s kerosene lamps lit a majority of these houses, and open fireplaces provided heat. Families drew their water from wells or hydrants shared with neighbors, and almost all households had outdoor toilets rather than indoor plumbing. You can see how small the Village houses are, yet the average southern mill family of seven lived in a four-room cottage that offered little privacy. I wonder if the women could have possibly imagined the comforts available today in these houses. Women worked in the mill for ten or twelve hours and came home to cook on wood stoves and to wash clothes in large iron kettles over open fires.
I had the good luck to meet Rocky Mount native, John Brady, who is responsible for breathing life back into five of the mill houses. The beautiful craftsmanship at 12 Carr, a walk-in, ready to be loved home, is a great example of John’s work. He is helping to build a future for the Mill Village.
You can reach John at 252-904-8218 to learn more
As I write about the Mill Village, I think of Alan Gurganus, author, born in Rocky Mount. He wrote a stunning piece called Old Houses & Young Men in a book called, 36 Views of Hillsborough, where he makes his home. He writes…. the spirit residues of your home’s former citizens–they perfume you, tease you. They offer hints of presences both scarcely there and yet far more permanently present than either you or I.