Red J. Store on Carroll Street, ca. 1910–1920

Atlanta, Georgia
Published December 13, 2012

This week's featured image was inspired by my own search for information about my newly adopted neighborhood of Cabbagetown, a former milltown on Atlanta's east side. With its perilous, narrow streets and shotgun houses—both hallmarks of milltown design—and with the Fulton Mill smokestacks looming mutely in the background, the neighborhood is saturated with remnants of its industrial past. But what did Cabbagetown look and feel like between the late nineteenth century and the late 1970s when the neighborhood's industrial identity was in its heyday?

Georgia Tech's Fulton Bag and Cotton Mills Digital Collection aims to show us a portion of this history. The collection, which is the result of a joint effort between the institute's Library and Information Center's Archives and Records Management, Digital Initiatives, and Systems Departments, provides digital access to archival images, community censuses, correspondence, and other records pertaining to the Fulton Bag and Cotton Mills. Additionally, the collection highlights materials on "Labor organizing" and "Labor strikes," offering a wealth of archival print resources related to millworkers' struggles to organize in the early twentieth century.

After finding Cabbagetown using the collection's browse function, I discovered a number of striking images of my neighborhood, including an unattributed photograph from the early twentieth century depicting a store called Red J. on Carroll Street. Although it's difficult to determine the exact location of the shop from the contextual information contained within the image it's safe to say that it was very close to the factory's eastern side.

Red J. Store on Carroll Street, ca. 1910–1920. Fulton Bag and Cotton Mills Digital Collection, Georgia Institute of Technology, vam004-015.
Red J. Store on Carroll Street, ca. 1910–1920. Fulton Bag and Cotton Mills Digital Collection, Georgia Institute of Technology, vam004-015.

Given the amount and types of resources this digital collection makes available to the public, I suspect I'll be referencing it more frequently as I work to uncover for myself Cabbagetown's rich and complicated past.

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