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Snapshot History of Danville and the Mills

1728
William Byrd “discovers” Danville area while surveying dividing line between Virginia and North Carolina.

1792
Town charter by Virginia General Assmebly “for a town on the lands of John Barnett, near Wynn's Falls, to be called Danville.”

1793
Virginia Legislature grants seven trustees 25 acres to divide into half-acre lots.

1802
Toll bridge built over Dan River between properties then owned by John Barnett and Thomas Worsham.

1816
Roanoke Navigation Co. chartered: rights to improve navigation of Roanoke River

1820s
Boom period for Danville.

1828
Danville’s first cotton mill established: Danville Manufacturing Co.

1833
Danville incorporated by Va. General Assembly.

1837
Stock market crash: 20-year depression follows.

1846
Richmond and Danville Railroad opens.

1866
Danville and Lynchburg Railroad chartered.

1880
Danville’s first post office built.

1882
Riverside Cotton Mills chartered for manufacturing cotton and woolen fabrics, rope.
Morotock Manufacturing Company opens.

1883
Riverside Mill No. 1 is erected on the corner of Bridge and Main Streets.

1887
Riverside Mill No. 2 opens on the north side of Union Street Bridge.

1888
Addition to Mill No. 2 opens as Riverside Mill No. 3.

1890
Riverside buys Morotock Manufacturing Company and calls it Mill No. 4.

1894
Addition to Mill No. 3 opens as Riverside Mill No. 5. Mills 2, 3, and 5 known as the “Long Mill.”

1895
Riverside Mill No. 6 opens on the north side of the river, below Main St. Bridge. A second dam is built to supply water power.
Dan River Power and Manufacturing Company established by Riverside to develop a power source on the Dan outside Danville City.

1896
An addition to the Long Mill opens as Riverside Mill No. 7.
North Danville (Neopolis) incorporated into Danville City.

late 1890s
Riverside begins supplementing water power with steam.

1902
Construction of first mill in Schoolfield.

1903
Large dam built near new Schoolfield mill location. Because of opposition to potential pollution, mill buildings are located on high lands away from the river and operate with electricity.
First houses built in the Schoolfield mill village.

1909
Riverside Cotton Mills merger with Dan River Power and Manufacturing Company to form Riverside and Dan River Cotton Mills

1920
Inflation following World War I boosts mill sales to record highs.

1931
Strike: Led by United Textile Workers. Ends six months later without achieving any of strikers' goals

1940s
Temporary economic rejuvenation of mill after decline begun 1920s.