The story of a forgotten America.

Revisiting the Lonaconing Silk Mill

Earlier in the year,…

Earlier in the year, I had the chance to revisit the Lonaconing Silk Mill, one of the last intact silk mills in the United States, which was operated by the Klotz Throwing Company and General Textile Mills Company between 1901 and 1957.

After a company expressed interest in restarting operations, Herbert Crawford and a partner purchased the complex in 1978. Over the years, Crawford attempted to renovate the interior into a working museum, but a lack of funding and state initiative nixed any proposals. After Crawford passed in February 2019, the silk mill property languished and was vandalized until Brandon Sloan acquired the Lonaconing mill from the heirs of the late Crawford in March 2022. Sloan’s goal is to preserve the site in its current condition with an immediate goal of repairing the roof.

Be sure to visit Sloan’s website, The Klotz Company Store, for information on events and items relating to the silk mill, and The Silk Mill, the companion Facebook page for updates relating to the silk mill.


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Thanks for this. I was morally convinced that there was no silk produced in North America, principally because nobody would subject themselves to the tedium involved in the million cocoons required to make a yard of the stuff, Clearly I was wrong, and accept no substitutes, for nylon didn’t exist then. But France made lots of silk, and our working conditions had to have been better than those in Quebec.

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