Mill Village Artifacts

The artifacts recently brought to a ladies’ luncheon at the new museum gave a fascinating glimpse into the history kept in our very own homes. Members of the Golden Circle at Glen Royal Baptist Church proudly displayed cherished family heirlooms and items saved for years, decades or even generations.

The large doll belonged to Jethra (Dinky) Brown, daughter of Will and Pearl Brown. Dinky was raised on the corner of Brewer Avenue and East Chestnut Street in the Mill Village. She was born in 1922 and died in 2002. Dinky gave the doll to Erica Woodlief. The dress on the doll was worn by Erica as a small child.

The African American doll and trunk date to 1910 and belonged to Ethel Alford Fowler. The doll on the right was the first doll of Joyce Alford Davis; the one in the middle is a Virginia Dare doll dating to 1940. All were loaned by Joyce Davis.

The cameo pins belonged to Mattie Alford. “Ma Matt” was born in 1896 and lived in the Mill Village at the corner of Brewer Avenue and East Chestnut Street. She worked at the cotton mill until her retirement, and died in 1987.

Ms. Davis also briefly loaned this dress, which belonged to her grandmother, Marthan Mingan, a member of Glen Royal Baptist Church. Marthan wore this dress circa 1910.

And we thank Ms. Davis for the basket of spinning bobbins and roving bobbins, all used by workers at Royall Mills.

Last but not least, the bonnet, ice pick, dish pan, coffee container and clutch bag belonged to Mabel Harvell Harding (1907-1988), who lived with her husband Morton (1900-1968) on Elizabeth Avenue in a house they bought when the mill houses were sold. All three of their children, Everett, Earl and Sharon, were born in the house. Mabel kept her favorite recipes in the clutch bag; many are still there, in her own handwriting.

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