Date of Award

Spring 2019

Degree Type


Director of Thesis

Dr. Jerry T. Mitchell

Second Reader

Dr. Conor M. Harrison


August Kohn’s report, The Cotton Mills of South Carolina, published in The News and Courier in 1907, attempted to document the impact that cotton mills in South Carolina had on its places, people, and growth. Over 100 years since the lists publishing, a comprehensive evaluation of the mills had not been undertaken. This thesis endeavored to evaluate the current status of the South Carolina cotton mills from Kohn's 1907 list. Of the original 141 mills, 120 were successfully located and their status mapped in a Geographic Information System (GIS). Sixty-six were found demolished, twenty-five were standing, and twenty-nine were developed or under development. Great opportunities lie ahead, whether through private redevelopment or redevelopment through public-private partnerships, for the preservation of this disappearing linchpin of Southern society. Through wise urban husbandry and development, with an emphasis on historic preservation, communities can once again claim with pride to be a flourishing “mill town” in South Carolina.

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