The West Georgia Textile Heritage Trail is available at local bookstores along the Textile Trail and by contacting the Center for Public History. For more information, visit: http://westgatextiletrail.com/.
Fabric and clothing industries touch us all, and since the 1850s, northwest Georgia has been a powerhouse of textile production: cotton fabric to apparel, stockings to chenille robes, and parachutes to carpeting. The Center’s publication Images of America: The West Georgia Textile Heritage Trail illustrates how the mills transformed families, livelihoods, and communities in our region.
Funded by the Callaway Foundation, Inc., of LaGrange, Georgia, Images of America: The West Georgia Textile Heritage Trail was a collaboration between faculty members and students at the University of West Georgia’s Center for Public History. Project directors Ann McCleary and Keri Adams supervised an extensive team including Dr. Jae Turner, Cecilia Stephens, Yanique Leonard, Kymberli Darling, Patrick J. Elias, Janae Hightower, Rachel Opolka, Dusty Dye, Kamil McElwee, Lacey Lawrence, Dustin Klein, and Daniel Kellogg, with maps prepared by Debby Holcombe at UWG Publications and Printing.
Building on regional research projects and the work of past students, public history students at UWG conducted primary research for this project, uncovering previously-unknown stories and collecting hundreds of historic images.
Photography students took contemporary photographs of active textile industries and extant resources:
The project also received images from private individuals, families, local and regional institutions, and historical repositories. Sources included organizations such as the Troup County Archives, the Vanishing Georgia Collection of the Georgia Archives, the Bartow History Museum, and the Bandy Heritage Center for Northwest Georgia:
In the end, the book features 35 communities in 19 counties. It serves as a pictorial guidebook for visitors to Textile Heritage Trail communities and as a supplement to Trail exhibits. We invite locals and visitors alike to explore and share their connections to this story, as well as discover the landscapes and cultures along the Textile Trail.