(gentle music) - [Roxanne] Ah, wonderful memories.
- [Paul] Peak population probably would've been close to 2,000, 800 or more people worked in the mill in its heyday.
Almost a hundred years we made blankets for Cannon Mills and Lady Pepperell.
The Lando Manetta Mills History Center is a collection of southern mill village remnants, and stories, and pictures that have been collected over the years.
Our goal is to preserve the history of Lando, the people that lived here, and tell the textile story.
(jaunty music) 'Cause there were hundreds and thousands of mill villages throughout the South, but what is unique about Lando is the people.
People donated the pictures, people donated the artifacts.
People continue to donate stories and we keep them all here and recreate them within these four walls within the History Center here in Lando.
We have stories that date back to the early 20th century, tell how this mill village was created.
The Heath family, when they came in as bankers outta Charlotte to start a default textile mill and recreate it into a thriving village.
(jaunty music continues) - Everybody knew everybody.
Everybody was kind and generous.
No one had a lot of stuff, so whatever you had, you know, you shared with your neighbors and your friends.
- Just so many little things that tell a big story, and you put 'em all together and it's all about continuing to preserve what it was here.
One of the biggest artifacts, or our favorite artifact is we got the old payroll books.
1951 worked 24 hours, they made $22.55.
- This is a payroll card from 1970, and my dad, Jackie Arbor, was a loom fixer and he made $110.80.
(light upbeat music) - [Paul] As the historian you want firsthand items.
We have it here.
This side over here is actually the president's office, would've been Harry Heath's desk.
You can see some of the relics that would've been in the company office at the time.
- I grew up in Lando.
Probably 90% of the people on the walls here I grew up with, or their fathers are here, and it's really heartwarming to see that all this was reserved and conserved.
- This museum means the world to my generation.
I was born in '55 and Mr. Heath had a birth log, and I can go and look up my birthdate.
My dad got a silver dollar when I was born.
Those kind of memories, you cannot duplicate.
(jaunty music) Everybody lives in a mill owned house.
- [Paul] We have recreated several rooms.
What a mill house kitchen would've looked like, a living room.
Your rent was tied to your paycheck.
5 cents a room or 25 cents a room at the end.
We have schoolhouse, we have the doctor's office.
- [Roxanne] Dr. Gaston was here and he'd do whatever you needed to be done and take care of it right then, and then on payday, you'd pay him back.
- [Paul] We have a room dedicated to the barbershop.
Barbershop existed in every mill village where everybody went on Saturdays to get your hair cut.
They had a bandstand.
They had music and sports.
They provided a baseball stadium, a baseball field.
- [Roxanne] This is the company store where you come to get your mail, buy meat, whatever you needed to do, you bought it at the company store and paid for it on payday.
When money got scarce back in the Depression, the mill made its own currency and you spent it here in the company store.
It was called a Looney.
(upbeat music) - [Paul] Was it a perfect life?
There was many, many problems in every community that existed, but this was a community where you watched after each other.
- Come see how a textile mill village was back in the day.
It's just a great place to look back in time for our memories, and we want future generations to know what it was like growing up in the early 1900s.