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Do You Remember the Mills in Johnston?

At one time, Johnston had several mills and factories, employing thousands of people.

 

While most people see Labor Day as a nicely-timed Monday off to end the summer, the holiday was begun to honor the efforts of millions of factory and mill workers — including the thousands who worked at Johnston companies.

The U.S. Department of Labor's website on the history of Labor Day explains that the first recorded Labor Day occurred on a Tuesday — Sept. 5, 1882, organized by members of the Central Labor Union in New York City, NY.

After changing the annual date to the first Monday of September, labor organizations continued to honor the holiday — and several state enacted laws approving it — until 1894, when Congress made Labor Day an official national holiday.

In Johnston, generations of laborers worked in the mills that sprang up around town in the late 1800s and early 1990s, including the Pocasset Worsted Company Mill in Thornton.

Pocasset Mill at one time employed some 1,000 workers from the area, making it the largest employer in Johnston, according to the application for National Historical Register designation filed in 2010.

Did you or anyone you know work at one of the mills in Johnston? What are your memories of working in Johnston's factories?

Tell us in the comments — and share your stories with our readers.

john jokes September 03, 2012 at 10:18 AM
I think the Armstrongs ran the Mill
Bob Crossley September 03, 2012 at 04:24 PM
Both my parents worked in that mill and I did also, first as a "bobbin boy" in the spinning dep't and then went downstairs and worked in the shipping room. At ages of about 12 to 16, we would climb the water tower and swim in it, only if it were full.

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