History of Porterdale

The earliest known reference to the town of Porterdale is in 1830 as the tiny grist mill and foundry settlement of Cedar Shoals a few miles south of Covington. Since 1890 residents have referred to Cedar Shoals as Porterdale after the newly formed Porterdale Mills, Inc. In 1917 the name change became official. Porterdale, like many other small towns, was developed around textile mills. The Porterdale Mill and two other smaller mills employed most of the local population whose history and folklore revolve around them.

Porterdale’s namesake Oliver S. Porter had controlling interest in the Cedar Shoals Manufacturing Company, a precursor to Porterdale Mills, Inc. After selling his interest in the Mills to Bibb Manufacturing Company in 1899 Mr. Porter and his descendants became benefactors of the town hiring doctors and dentists and teachers, funding schools and underwriting small businesses, civic clubs and service organizations. Most of the homes in Porterdale were owned by Bibb Manufacturing until 1964, when just a decade or so before the Mills closed, employees were allowed to purchase their own homes.

Over thirty years later Porterdale again looks to its Mill buildings to reinvigorate the community. The Porterdale Mill Lofts will bring new residents, businesses and energy to the area while respecting Porterdale’s longtime residents and rich history.

SOURCE: http://homepages.rootsweb.com/~fcgs/porterdale/history/index.htm

 

FURTHER READING

Mill and Town in South Carolina by David L. Carlton (ISBN: 0807110590)

Old South, New South: Revolutions in the Southern Economy Since the Civil War by Gavin Wright (ISBN: 0807120987)

Diary of a Cotton Mill Girl by Lucy Ivey Shaw (ASIN: B0006RHCB2)

Rural Worlds Lost: The American South 1920 - 1960 by Jack Temple Kirby
(ISBN: 0807113603)