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Built in 1902 by John Love and George Gray, they contracted their names to Loray, and the mill, said to be the largest single roof textile mill in the South, went on to become a part of history.

The Communist Textile Workers Union led a strike in 1929 that laid siege to the town and resulted in the death of Gastonia Police Chief Orville Aderholt and worker's rights champion Ella May Wiggins.

As public sentiment turned against the union and the Great Depression forced the company operating the mill into bankruptcy, Firestone Tire and Rubber Company stepped in and for the next 60 years produced woven tire cord for an exploding automobile industry.

The doors closed a final time in 1993 when Firestone built a new plant in Kings Mountain.

The property lain fallow for 20 years and local residents have hoped for the day when the historic Loray Mill would once again take its place of prominence in the modest Gastonia skyline.

For generations of Gastonians Loray Mill has represented many things: to some a legacy of pride, for others a hope for the future...

We welcome guests to meander through The Loray Mill History Center and Archives, where carefully preserved photography and artifacts will be displayed. To learn more about the UNC’s Digital Innovation Lab, please visit