December 18, 1868 Clay Marchant incorporated the Charlottesville Woolen Mill. It made a strong run, a long history. We live on in this place.
The lay of the land cradled by the Rivanna is the face of our neighborhood. Much of the built fabric and the topography of the Woolen Mill remains.
While a majority of the Woolen Mills employees lived north of the railroad tracks, the majority of the Woolen Mills acreage was south of the tracks. In this aerial photo from 1937, the 13 acre mill campus, the Marchant House and the houses of Pireus Row are visible to the southeast.
West of the mill campus was Woolen Mills Park and the commons, a pasture where Woolen Mills residents were free to graze livestock and recreate.
East of Franklin Street, south of the tracks the Herndon-Haggard-Meeks house is visible.
Retired master electrician Danny Meeks holds a picture of his homeplace, the Herndon-Haggard-Meeks house.
When William I. Kent announced closure of the Woolen Mills in 1962 the residents of our neighborhood were straw in a whirlwind. Their way of living, 100+ years in the making, was powerfully altered. Many Woolen Mills residents remained in the neighborhood, but the lands held by the mill south of the tracks for its employees enjoyment were sold. Woolen Mills Park became an industrial park.