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Blanket Town: The Rise and Fall of An American Mill Town

Blanket Town is a historical documentary film about the rise and fall of the Beacon Blanket Mill and the people who worked there. Once the largest manufacturer of blankets in the world, Beacon was described as the "big red thumping heart" of the small mountain town of Swannanoa, NC. Blanket Town looks at the forces that built and destroyed this thriving mill town and asks the question, what happens to a community when it loses its heart? 

This Year!!!!
With your help here is some of what we were able to accomplish this year.

  • Hire a professional cinematographer to shoot additional footage, including interviews with former Beacon workers; Swannanoa business owners, and a walking tour of  historical downtown Swannanoa.
  • Engage award-winning filmmaker and editor Jim Haverkamp as a consulting editor 
  • Professionally record local musician Laurie Fisher to provide music for the film
  • Win a grant from the Black Mountain/Swannanoa Valley Endowment fund
  • Secure rights to footage of Martha Stewart talking about Beacon blankets on TV 
  • Receive project sponsorship from the prestigious Center for Independent Documentary

We are proud of the progress we have made on the film in 2018.  But we still need your financial help to bring the film to completion and to pay for the things we can’t do ourselves. We need to raise funds to pay for color correction, sound mixing, finish editing, and copyright and clearance fees. 

Please consider donating to our fundraising campaign to help us finish the film!

We are so grateful for the generous support we have received this year from the Black Mountain/Swannanoa Valley Endowment Fund and for the sponsorship opportunity with the Center for Independent Documentary. as well as the advice and support from our friends at The Center for Documentary Studies. And of course for all of your ongoing support !

Blankets for Christmas Video
Our Christmas gift to you this year is a short holiday video we've created just for fans of Blanket Town. Set to the original song "Blankets for Christmas" written by Lucy Martier and Cameron Lash, the song lyrics are taken from oral history interviews with former Beacon workers. We hope you will recognize some familiar faces and long lost friends. From all of us at Blanket Town, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Swannanoa's Got Talent
Here are behind the scenes shots of local musician Laurie Fisher  

recording music for the Blanket Town score

at Juicebox Studios in Swannanoa.

Rough Cuts Film Festival
We were thrilled to be able to show half of Blanket Town at the Rough Cuts Film Festival at Wake Tech Community College in Raleigh. It was such an honor to be able to screen part of the film and hear feedback from faculty, students, and staff. Favorite comment ? When one viewer said  "I'm not from Swannanoa and I don't know anyone who worked at Beacon. 
But this film told my family's story." 

We’ve been documenting the Beacon story for many years. Conducting oral history interviews, scanning old family photographs, and preserving the stories of workers who lived and worked in this “Blanket town.”

It is a huge story -- the rise and collapse of US manufacturing -- told small. Our documentary film,Blanket Town, brings this complex and urgent history alive through amazing archival footage, interwoven with the voices of former mill workers and townspeople who speak with honest emotion and humor.

Please make a tax deductible donation to to help support the film's completion. We so appreciate your helping us make it to the finish line! 
You can make a secure, tax-deducible donation below.

Or you can send a check to
The Center for Independent Documentary-Blanket Town
1300 Soldiers Field Road, Suite #5
Boston, MA 02135

Contact Us
If you would like to learn more about Blanket Town or have photos to share,  please contact us.  You can call Rebecca Williams, the film's director at 828-280-6235 or email us at

Don't forget to like and follow us on Facebook! 

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