GLENDALE, S.C. (AP) - The historic Glendale Mill, which has been
closed for 43 years, was destroyed by a fire early Saturday.
Authorities were called about the fire at the 137-year-old mill
around 2:30 a.m. Saturday, said Glendale Assistant Fire Chief Eric
Alley.
"When I pulled in, the back part of the mill - the three-story
section - was fully engulfed in flames," Alley told the
(Spartanburg) Herald-Journal. "It's a total loss."
More than 80 firefighters from four departments worked
throughout the day trying to extinguish the blaze and prevent it
from spreading to nearby homes and a post office.
The State Law Enforcement Division was investigating the cause
of the fire.
Anderson-based Glendale Development Corp. owned the mill.
Alternator Exchange of Pacolet was leasing the property for
storage, Alley said.
The mill was built around 1870, and the site along Lawson's Fork
Creek has an even richer history.
It was first developed in 1773, when Joseph Buffington built
Buffington Iron Works. Buffington eventually lost the facility to
William Wofford in a land dispute.
During the Revolutionary War, British soldiers ambushed American
forces that had camped out at Wofford's Iron Works on Aug. 7, 1780.
The Americans fought off their attackers and the foundry was
spared.
A year later, the iron works was destroyed in a rAid0led by
"Bloody" Bill Cunningham. It reopened after the war as South
Carolina Iron works.
James Bivings of Lincolnton, N.C., bought the property and built
the Bivingsville Cotton Factory in 1836. It was South Carolina's
first cotton mill with more than 1,000 spindles.
The mill went bankrupt in 1855, and Bivings sold it to John
Bomar and Co. for $19,500 a year later.
The factory was razed after the Civil War and the current mill
was built around 1870.
It was purchased in 1946 by Stifel and Sons of Wheeling, W.Va.
Indian Head Mills bought the facility in 1957. Four years later,
the looms stopped running for good.
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Information from: Herald-Journal, http://www.goupstate.com/

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)