The North Carolina Textile Museum
Randolph Heritage was founded in 1994 to preserve the unique built environment of Franklinville, a cotton mill village founded in 1838 on Deep River in Randolph County, North Carolina. The site of grist mills dating back to the 1770s, the Franklinville factory was a unique effort by local Quakers and anti-slavery activists to create a form of financial investment that did not involve human slavery.
Before 1900 the community not only had two cotton mills, but an ironworks, chair factory, and barrel-making factory.
More than 200 acres of the community were included in the creation of the Franklinville National Historic District in 1985.
Just a mile upriver lies Cedar Falls, another mill village community founded in 1836, and with roots to 1754. The mill there operated until the 1990s, and today houses the American Textile Technology Collection.
The natural resources of Deep River have recently been recognized in its designation as a North Carolina Blueway trail, and Franklinville and Randolph County are developing the adjoining Deep River Rail Trail on the right-of-way of the Cape Fear and Yadkin Valley Railway.
A strategic plan commissioned by the NC General Assembly in 2019 recommended that a North Carolina Textile Museum be established in partnership with the Randolph Heritage. Using the RHC properties in Cedar Falls and Franklinville, the museum will grow over a 10 year period to tell the whole story of textile craft and industry in the South.
The goal of the North Carolina Textile Museum is to give visitors an authentic experience of the distinctive history and unique places, artifacts and activities that tell the stories and represent the people, past and present, of North Carolina's textile industry.
Randolph Heritage Conservancy, Inc., EIN #56-1908091, is a North Carolina nonprofit corporation chartered in 1994. It has been designated a publicly-supported 501c3 educational charity by the Internal Revenue Service. Contributions made are deductible to the extent allowed by law.