Photo Record

Object Name Image, Digital
Catalog Number 2014.017.034.a-i
Description E.T. Barwick Carpet Mills in Lafayette, Georgia. E.T. Barwick Mills was one of the earliest producers of tufted carpet, and the first to make it with synthetic fibers. Barwick was a major economic force for Walker County through jobs and taxes. The company also gave back to the community: several LaFayette recreational facilities and its airport were built (or funded) by Barwick. In the mid-1980s, the company collapsed after years of bad business deals and embezzlement from top executives. E.T. Barwick Mills was liquidated, and its shuttered Walker County properties were eventually acquired by Dalton millionaire Drennon Crutchfield. For several years the plant’s railroad siding was used to offload garbage bound for a nearby private dump. "That 11-acre landfill opened in 1976 and was initially used for burying construction debris and “latex sludge” from nearby Dow-Reichold. Around 1992 the dump began accepting “industrial solid waste” from outside sites, at the rate of 500 to 1,000 tons per day. Walker County and the Georgia Environmental Protection Division fought the landfill, forcing it to close in 1994 because of law violations and potential groundwater pollution." Barwick’s mill is a “brownfield” property, too polluted to use without removing toxic materials from the ground and facilities. Source:City of LaFayette, Georgia.

a) shows the beginning of the construction of the left building addition. In the foreground is West Main Street, to the right is the Chattooga and Chickamauga Railroad (formerly the Tennessee-Alabama-Georgia Railway) and South Chattanooga Street. The runway for Lafayette Barwick Airport is visible in the background.
b) shows the opposite angle (looking south) at the beginning of the construction of the building addition. The neighborhoods around the plant in the foreground are clearly still being built as well. Meadow and South Cherokee Streets (parallel running streets in foreground) later extend north of McConnell Street, which is the short street in the very foreground and more houses were added. The church on the very right side is still in existence [as of 2014].
c,d) The barwick sign is in the foreground in the parking lot. West Main Street, the railroad, and neighborhood to the west is visible, as is the end of the runway. In the center is the Chattooga River, which was likely where Barwick Mills dumped waste or chemicals.
e1-3) aerial of mill and similar to a). Shows completed building addition.
f) The Drive-In theater visible at the top is likely Blue Sky Drive-In, which was located across from the post office at the corner of Martha Berry Highway and Foster Boulevard. South Chattanooga Street in foreground; West Main Street on left side. Shows progress of construction on building addition.
g) Similar to b); shows partial construction.
h1,2) Similar to a); shows partial construction.
i) Opposite viewpoint of f). Shows completed building addition.
Date 1955 circa
Accession number 2014.017