More Than the 'Physical Remains of Yesterday's Industry:' A Case Study of the Clayton Cotton Mill

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The historic Clayton Cotton Mill located in Clayton, North Carolina, operated from the early- to mid-twentieth century. This research investigates the quality and quantity of data that is recovered from twentieth century industrial sites when investigators utilize the methodologies and research interests of labor archaeology. It also examines how labor archaeology informs questions relating to race, paternalism, and child labor, and how labor archaeology’s methodologies highlight the potential public value of the resource.The initial archaeological investigations conducted at this mill were focused on traditional industrial archaeology research questions and concluded that the resource was not eligible for listing on the NRHP without considering research avenues associated with labor archaeology. The goal of this project is to evaluate this resource through the lens of labor archaeology, identifying valuable information that adds to a more complete understanding of the resource and would have been lost if the original recommendation was accepted.