in 1905, the Aderholdt and Rudisill families partnered to establish the Henry River Manufacturing Company, which was a cotton yarn manufacturer. During its initial operation, the Company erected 35 worker houses, a two-story boarding house, a bridge, a brick company store, a power producing dam, and the original 3 story brick mill building where the yarn was produced.
Until 1914, all operations were fully powered by waterpower. This was later converted to steam power and electricity as technology advanced and upgrades were made to increase production. By 1963, the Company had tripled its initial production from 1905, but due to economic pressure from overseas, the textile industry had already begun a hard downward spiral until the mill ceased operations shortly after.
In 1977, just after Wade R. Sheppard purchased the property, the main mill building burned to the ground after a believed lightning strike. At the time, this may have appeared to be a coup de grâce for the Mill Hill, but the community still prevailed. In fact, many former residents of the Village recollect the last native moving out of the Village in the late 90’s or early 2000’s.
After 112 years, there has been a lot of history made in the Village, and there are many families in the community that grew up at Henry River and are still alive to tell the story today. The Henry River Preservation Fund has made it their mission to ensure that their stories, and the Village's story, lives on for generations to come.
The Preservation Fund
The Henry River Preservation Fund (HRPF) is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 dedicated to the conservation and preservation of the Historic Henry River District through educational and community outreach initiatives to connect the public with the Historic Henry River District.
Current Board Members: