BLANKET TOWN: THE RISE AND FALL OF AN AMERICAN MILL TOWN
A documentary film about the rise and fall of the Beacon Blanket Mill in Swannanoa, NC, it’s influence on the people who worked there, and it’s national and global context.
East of Asheville North Carolina, Swannanoa is a small town in Buncombe County, and the home of the Beacon Blanket Factory, at one time the largest manufacturer of blankets in the world, which burned down in 2003.
The story of the mill is an essential part of North Carolina’s story, and puts Beacon in the context of the migration of the textile industry from New England to the American South and, with the advent of globalization, overseas.
The community of Swannanoa is poised on the verge of tremendous change. Development has begun on a high-end, gated community on the mountain that overlooks the mill village. The Beacon site is up for sale for millions of dollars. There is interest in revitalizing the old downtown area. But rebuilding the community today requires an understanding and appreciation of the strong community it once was.