In 1837, after considerable discussion with his father, Michael Holt III, owner of a grist mill on the Big Alamance
Creek, a friend, Judge Ruffin, who owned a mill further down the Creek at the junction with the Haw River and
Henry Humphries in Guilford County, Edwin Michael (E. M. ) Holt went into partnership with his brother-in-law
William Carrigan and built this cotton mill. This was in the time of a "National Economic Panic"..The Holts had
ten children. Five of the sons entered the textile business. The first product was "bunch" yarn sold to home
weavers. The factory grew, added looms and in 1857, a dye house, the site of the first yarn dyed in a factory
south of the Potomac.
By 1861 the factory had 1200 spindles and 96 looms. Three sons went off to war and returned in good health.
Copyright Gary Mock 2009-2013
Edwin Michael Holt founder of the first
cotton mill to operate in the Haw River
Valley. Built 1837, destroyed by fire in
1871, rebuilt and used until 1947.
UNC Archives Post Card Collection
Highway marker at Big Alamance Creek
on NC 62 in Alamance, NC. Former mill
location to the left.
Photo: Gary Mock