Human Stories : Digital Experience

“Digital Loray” documents and interprets the long, complex history of Gastonia, North Carolina’s iconic Loray Mill and the surrounding mill village.  We use digital tools and technologies to tell the human stories of this place, from the Loray’s opening as a textile mill in 1902, through its operation as a Firestone plant between 1935-1993, to its renovation and reopening as a mixed-use development in 2015.  As a public history project, our goal is to engage members of the Loray, Firestone, and mill village communities — past and present, local and distant — as active participants in our work.

Explore our growing Digital Archive of historical materials related to the Loray/Firestone mill and village.  Scroll through the multimedia timelines that provide windows into the past.  Use the interactive map to see who lived in the mill village in 1920, then dig deeper to learn more about their lives.  Contribute to the project by sharing your knowledge, telling your
stories, and adding to the archive.

Beginning in summer 2016, you can find Digital Loray in the Alfred C. Kessell History Center
at the Loray Mill.  The center will feature digital and physical exhibits and offer public programs that further explore the mill’s history and its meaning for local people.

We hope to connect and extend the Loray/Firestone community through the stories we tell and the materials we use to reconstruct the past.  Help us build it!