An unrecorded plan for the textile mill town of Mayodan in Rockingham County, North Carolina, an early example of the migration of the textile industry from New England to lower-cost southern locales.
Mayodan was founded in the 1890s by Winston-Salem manufacturer, railroad magnate and banker Francis Henry Fries (1855-1931). After overseeing the construction of the Roanoke and Southern Railway between Winston-Salem and Roanoke, in the early 1890s he purchased a large parcel along the west bank of the Mayo River in Rockingham County, North Carolina. Along the river he erected the Mayo Mills, which began spinning cotton in 1895 or 1896, and oversaw the laying out of a company town named after the Mayo and nearby Dan Rivers.
Offered here is a promotional plan for the new town, presumably issued some time in the mid-1890s. Fries may have been a hard-nosed capitalist: the plan depicts a dense, rectilinear street grid, with the streets unimaginatively named after Presidents and the avenues simply numbered, the whole unrelieved by amenities such as parks or other public spaces… or for that matter, houses of worship. The Mayo Mills and the Roanoke and Southern Railway, Mayodan’s raison d’etre, are visible at far right along the river, and an inset map shows the town located within a dense rail network linking it to major coastal ports.
Mayodan remains today something of a manufacturing center, with a population somewhere around 2400, though the textile complex closed in 1999. A quick look at a modern map reveals that much of Fries’ original street plan and many of his street names remain intact.
Not in OCLC or Phillips, Maps of America.