After puchasing the historic Chronicle Mill in 2014, owner John Church found a need to establish a woodworking sister business to manage the reclaimed wood from the mill. With over 150,000 square feet of old growth 500 year old heart pine beams and hard rock maple floorboards, repurposing these ancient eastern woods seemed paramount. Thus the creation of Chronicle Millworks.
Chronicle Mill History
Chronicle Mill was the first mill built in Belmont, North Carolina. It opened in 1904 by the Lineberger family. The Chronicle mill was a cotton processing textile mill, that served a large role in the Belmont community from 1904 to 2010. Bringing jobs, wealth and a better economy to the Belmont area.
The First Central Air System
1906 Buffalo Forge Company sells Carrier’s “Apparatus for Treating Air” to the Chronicle Cotton Mills of Belmont, North Carolina, and applies it to the mill’s fan-heater ventilating system. It was the first industrial “central station” humidifying system int he world.
Air-conditioning greatly changed the nature of life in North Carolina and the rest of the South. Willis H. Carrier, who had created an experimental cooling system in New York in 1902, installed the first air-conditioning system in the South in 1906 at Chronicle Cotton Mills in Belmont, NC. Prior to the 1920s, the use of air-conditioning was restricted almost entirely to industrial settings, where it was hailed as a boon to worker productivity; by the 1930s, however, air-conditioned movie theaters and railway cars became common. After World War II commercial use increased, and, with the invention of the window unit in 1951, residential application boomed. While it is difficult to quantify the effects of the widespread availability of air-conditioning, historians have recognized it as an important contributor to the reversal of migration from the South in the latter half of the twentieth century. It also helped spark a variety of other social and cultural changes as increasing numbers of North Carolinians moved off their porches during the hot summer months, choosing instead the comforts of controlled indoor temperatures.
Stuart W. Cramer, born in Thomasville, played an important role in the development of air-conditioning. A leading figure in the textile industry at the turn of the twentieth century and the holder of more than 60 patents, Cramer pioneered humidity control and ventilating equipment for cotton mills and installed scores of such systems across the South. In a paper read before an American Cotton Manufacturers Association convention in 1906, Cramer-for whom the Gaston County town of Cramerton is named-is believed to have coined the term "air-conditioning." The industry's trade organization within the state, the North Carolina Association of Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors, was formed in 1910; L. L. Hackney of Charlotte was the group's first president.