The biggest mills, with the company-owned and controlled workers residential villages the term commuter was then unknown created much to the present way of life in both attributes and expectations.
This years edition of Past Times, the 19th in News Publishing Companys annual presentations about the history of Northwest Georgia and Northeast Alabama, is about The Rise and Fall of Mill Life.
With at least one notable exception (Mount Vernon Mills in Trion) those old giants are gone. Many of the villages once surrounding them remain (though not all) and have become sort of subdivisions that harken back to another era. Others are, of course, erased just like the mills that spawned them with, in both cases, sometimes nary a trace of either remaining visible.
Yet, throughout this region, pretty much all who grew up in these parts are heirs to what the mill villages began, with workers expecting things like indoor plumbing and electricity, for example and schools for their children.
It is also the place were women came to be largely accepted in the workplace and where unions (and labor conflict) put down roots.
The Rise and Fall of Mill Life explores in words and pictures how these villages came to be, what they contained, what their way of life was like and what has befallen them.
"It is the first of two parts on the cloth-based textile industry heritage of this part of the country, which in turn gave birth to the carpet-based textile industry that remains so much of factor.
The second issue, in August of 2008, will deal with the history of the mills/companies themselves, the products that they produced and the sometimes tense labor/management relations.
Past Times has won numerous state and national awards since first appearing in 1989. It has three times received the George Washington Medal of the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge.
This years 100-page magazine is included in all home-delivered editions of todays newspaper as a special bonus for subscribers. For those who dont subscribe, or wish to purchase copies for friends, relatives or schools, additional copies are available for $2.50 a copy, plus sales tax, at the offices of this newspaper or at the offices of any other News Publishing Co. paper