Lonaconing Silk Mill history
The Lonaconing Silk Mill History
The idea for a silk mill in Lonaconing, Maryland, began on a train smoking car in the early 1900s. Mr. Duncan Sloan, local banker, became a salesman for his hometown when he overheard that the Klotz Throwing Company was looking for a suitable site for a new plant. Mr. Sloan emphasized the availability of surplus labor and cheap fuel in the region. The coal industry that the region depended upon, was notorious for layoffs due to periods of slackening demand, so the mill would supplement wages and provide for more steady employment. He also stressed Lonaconing's access to rail transportation in an effort to persuade the representative that his town would be the ideal location for a new mill. Five weeks after the smoking car meeting, Mr. George Klotz, and Mr. J. H. Britton, representing the company, proposed erecting Klotz Throwing Mill Company in Lonaconing. A dialogue between the New York-based company and the town began. Shortly after the proposal was made, a public meeting occurred at the Evans Opera House in Lonaconing. The town citizens decided to accept the offer made by Mr. Klotz and Mr. Britton. At the meeting, the decision was made to establish a committee of seven businessmen to seek bonds that were to be made payable to the Lonaconing Savings Bank. Proceeds from the bond issue would finance construction costs. The total cost for building and equipping the mill was estimated to be about $100,000. The town and the committee were able to furnish at least $47,000 of the $100,000. A piece of land, 250' by 400', was purchased along Railroad Street to be the home of the new facility. Ground was broken by the S.W. Wise Construction Company of Cumberland on August 13, 1905. Construction of the mill did not proceed without incident.
Photograph of Main Street Lonaconing, Md. circa 1907
Allegany High School, Oral history project
Allegany High School, Cumberland
28 cms x 22 cms
Anne Failing, Erin Degyansky, Chris Jewell, Amber Sallerson, Dan Whetzel and Mike Lewis
Allegany County (Md.), History; Lonaconing, Allegany County (Md.), History; Lonaconing Silk Mill; Silk mills, History.
Allegany County (Md.), 1907-1957