The Story: The Mill Village

Well, most of the time they had little front room. They called it a parlor. And they'd go in there and court. And if they stayed longer than their papa thought they ought to, he'd say, 'All right - bed time in there. If you ain't going home come on in here and I'll fix you a bed and you can go to bed.'

- Eula Durham, former mill worker - Bynum NC

Community ice skating rink at Glenn-Lowry Mills in Whitmire, SC
"Community Skating Rink: This is only one of the many clean ways
Whitmire young people have of whiling their leisure hours away. "
Glenn-Lowry Mills, Whitemire, SC - Mill News, 1920

Teens who worked in the cotton mills had many of the same concerns as teens today: gaining independence from their families, figuring out the opposite sex, spending time with friends, and earning money are some of the issues former mill workers remember wrestling with during their teen years. Dating was a popular activity for mill village teens, although they were very rarely allowed to date alone. Teen boys and girls could go on supervised dates or with groups of other teens on the weekends. Former workers remember going to baseball games, square dances and maybe to the movies if their mill village or town had a movie theater. Many mill workers met their future spouses in the mill villages.