Trail Marker #14 - Woolen Mill Photo
In 1877, Alexander Chatham and his brother-in-law, Thomas Lenoir Gwyn, took over the R.R. Gwyn & Company, formerly the Elkin Manufacturing Company. Adding on to the original grist mill and with the purchase of new machinery, the two founded the Elkin Valley Woolen Mills. Through the early years of the textile company, production was slow -only employing four hands.
In 1890, Gwyn sold Chatham his interest in the business and it was renamed Chatham Manufacturing Company. In 1893, it was relocated alongside the railroad east of downtown Elkin. This site then became home to the Elkin Shoe Company in 1896. The bridge supports seen in this drawing are still visible to your left in the creek. This community, located 1 mile north of Elkin was called Elkin Valley and had its own post office from 1886-1894.