14Ole MillsIt’s that time of year again. Time to celebrate and remember the reason why Ole Mills Days are important to Hope Mills. 

A Little Piece of History

The Town of Hope Mills was founded upon the mill industry, beginning with the first saw mill on Little Rockfish Creek in the 1700s. Later, Bluff Mills was established in 1841 close to what is now the intersection of Camden Road and Hope Mills Road. These mills flourished, and the town and economy boomed.

But when the Civil War began, turmoil followed. Bluff Mill survived, but eight cotton mills along with the mill houses that provided room and board for the mill workers were ruthlessly burned to the ground during Gen. William T. Sherman’s infamous March to the Sea.

Though the mills were destroyed, Hope Mills would not be what it is today without the hard work of the lumber and mill workers and the ingenuity of the cotton, saw and grist mills. 

Let’s Have Fun

Thursday, Oct. 19, jump-starts the fun of Ole Mills Days with the Hope MEALS Food Truck Rodeo at 5770 Rockfish Rd. from 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Bring your dancing shoes and enjoy the party Friday, Oct. 20, with the Ole Mills Days Street Dance on Trade Street from 6-9 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 21, is the annual celebration of Ole Mills Days in Municipal Parks 1 and 2 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. The Hope Mills Area Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual Chili Cook-Off for the duration of the event. There will be cash prizes for both hot and mild categories as well as a People’s Choice award. It costs $5 to sample all the chili and vote for the People’s Choice winner. Call (910) 423-4313 for more information about the Chili Cook-Off.

The Mill Worker Reunion will be held from 2-4 p.m. Throughout the day there will also be tractor pulls, food, craft vendors and a kids’ corner. The celebration will end with a movie night.

Debbie Holland, interim town clerk, said the Town of Hope Mills looks forward to having residents of Cumberland County come and enjoy the family-friendly festivities.

“This is a great time for everyone from Hope Mills and the surrounding areas to learn about our history while having fun,” she said. “We will have many vendors and activities for everyone to enjoy.”

For more information about Ole Mills Days 2017, call (910) 429-4109 or visit  www.townofhopemills.com.


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