Have you ever dried off with a Fieldcrest Cannon bath towel?
Meet the community where this product came from: Fieldale, Virginia.
In the early 1900s, Marshall Field and Company wanted to expand their textile operations from North Carolina to another location. So they chose this beautiful valley of over 1,800 acres of corn fields with the Smith River, the railroad tracks of Norfolk and Western and the Danville and Western following the river parallel to a dirt road of sorts. The houses would be terraced in an amphitheatre effect on the gently sloping hillsides all facing the big mill in the beautiful valley. The plan was to make this new town one of the most attractive ever built, and one of the most economical for working people to live in.
Marshall Field died in 1906 and John G. Shedd became President of Marshall Field and Company. From the very beginning the company took care of resident's needs. The business district would include a post office, grocery store, furniture store, hotel, shoe shop, barber shop, drug store, produce store, theatre and a bank - everything needed to establish a community.
Health care was provided by a Company Doctor and Nurse who made house calls. Land was donated for a four room school which was built and enlarged as the need arose until it had all grades through a four year high school. The company built the YMCA (now the Community Center), and later added two regulation size pools operated by the center. Sidewalks were added around town and Fieldale was the first community in the area to have public water and sewage.
In the 1950s Marshall Field's Mill was sold to Fieldcrest Mills and in 1985 Fieldcrest merged with Cannon. In 1997 Fieldcrest Cannon was purchased by Pillowtex Corporation which closed in 2003. In 2007 the Village of Fieldale was named to the State Historic Register and in 2008 it was added to the National Register.
Today the village is known for its serene hiking and biking trails, paddling opportunities and world class fly fishing. The Fieldale Heritage Festival, named one of the Top 20 Events in the Southeast by the Southeast Tourism Society in 2011, is held on the third Saturday of each May in the center of Fieldale Village.
|The Virginia Home Inn|
The Clubhouse Resort (Groups)
|Fieldale Community Center|
Iron Bridge Memorial
Jordan Creek Park
Textile Heritage Trail
Smith River Access- Fieldale
Additional Community Links:
Back to Martinsville-Henry County, Virginia
Historic information courtesy of the Fieldale Heritage Festival Committee with support from the Smith River Small Towns Collaborative.
Be sure to visit the nearby communities of Martinsville, Axton, Bassett, Collinsville, Spencer, Stanleytown and Ridgeway.