History of Ossipee

Once inhabited by the Saxapahaw Indians, the the area along the Haw River became the location of the Ossipee Cotton Mill, founded by Capt. James N. Williamson and sons in 1878.

By the late 1880’s, the Mill Point depot was built in what is now Elon. It served as a shipping center for mills in the western part of the county.

A store and mill houses started to appear soon after the mill opened. Workers were given a roof over their heads but were not allowed to purchase the homes. This, combined with low wages and long work days, led mill workers to strike in the 1880’s.

The mill was sold to Consolidated Textile Corporation in 1916. It was sold again during the depression to Burlington Mills, Inc., later Burlington Industries. Burlington Industries began to sell the mill houses to workers to possibly avoid more workers from striking.

In the 1970’s, Glen Raven Mills bought the mill.

Ossipee was incorporated as a town in 2002.

From Don Bolden’s “Alamance in the Past”

Bandits hold up bank

On Friday, August 31, 1934, four machine gun-menacing bandits driving a car from Tennessee held up the Ossipee branch of The Burlington Mills. Looking for big payroll money, they locked six people in the vault, and kidnapped two girls, leaving with only $200.

The girls were let go half an hour later in Liberty, NC. Having taken the vault keys with them, the people locked inside the vault had to break the lock from the inside to escape.

The bandits talking with northern accents, and were never seen again.

Don Bolden – The Times News, Aug. 31, 2008

Old Ossipee Mill to be replaced by beautiful meadow

The old Ossipee Cotton Mill, built in 1878 by James Williamson and sons is being torn down. Glen Raven Mills, the current owner had been using the facilities as a trucking terminal and for storage. Those operations have since been moved to Altamahaw.

“Officials with Glen Raven Inc. said the site of the old mill will soon be a picturesque grass setting appropriate for a park or any number of other uses.”

Steve Huffman – The Times News, Dec. 9, 2012

Copyright 2012 Town of Ossipee