In 1906, Peter Thompson arrived in Haywood County, North Carolina, looking for a source of pulp for his growing Ohio paper mill. He settled on a village on the Pigeon River. Within a year Champion Fiber Company employed over eight hundred people. Its history over the next ninety years was a complex one of persistence environmental problems and remarkable prosperity for the people of Haywood County. While much of Appalachia suffered from the effects of industrialization, the thousands of workers at Champion enjoyed wages above the state and national averages. The county benefited with schools, hospitals, and libraries. However by the 1980’s pollution of the Pigeon River had become an environmental issue of national stature. In 1997, the mill was offered for sale and was bought by its employees.
Below is the Digital Heritage Moment as broadcast on the radio:
- Lake Logan Thousands of years before the arrival of European settlers, Native Americans, particularly the Cherokees, inhabited the mountain region now known as Appalachia. Within the boundaries of […]
- Plott Hounds
The Plott Hound is an agile, muscular dog with a short, often brindle colored coat and historic mountain heritage. Of the 7 breeds of coonhounds recognized by the United Kennel Club, […]
- Mary Cornwell, 1989 Mary Cornwell receives 1989 Mountain Heritage Award
Mary Cornwell of Waynesville, creator of the North Carolina State Fair’s Village of Yesteryear and founder of the Museum of North […]
- Folkmoot Appalachia has long been appreciated as a reservoir of traditional culture. But every July, Folkmoot USA brings the world’s traditional cultures to Appalachia. Folkmoot USA, one of the […]
- Earl Lanning Earl Lanning of Waynesville, North Carolina is a master gunsmith who has contributed enormously to the revival of American flintlock rifle building.