Archaeological Findings

The Front Street sites (44PY178 and 44PY181) are just north of the Main Street Bridge crossing of the Dan River. The millworkers' houses on these lots were built during the 1890s. Riverside Cotton Mills had erected the first of its complex of mill buildings by 1883. Beginning in 1903, the company expanded its operations outside city and created a formal company-owned village called Schoolfield for some of its workers.Sites 44PY178 and 44PY181 encompass the backyards of several houses built by the local textile mill company at the end of the nineteenth century to house millworkers and their families. Even though the yards were used into the 1950s and beyond, archaeological investigations focused on the 1890s through 1930s, when mill families rented the houses. Both sites are just west of Main Street in North Danville, and both fall within the construction zone of improvements to the Main Street Bridge. Site 44PY178, on the south side of Front Street, includes the former location of a duplex mill house with street numbers 101 and 103 and its backyard, and the backyard of a boarding house that once stood at number 107. Site 44PY181, includes the backyards of two duplexes: numbers 100 and 102, and 104 and 106. The features and artifacts pages summarize what the sites had to offer in these two major categories. Using this information, we were able to interpret many aspects of mill family life in this neighborhood.