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Industry in the New South

 


 
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Industry in New South Virginia Project

Industry

 

 

In the Fall of 2007 and Spring of 2009, students in Dr. Kevin Borg’s HIST 337 public history practicum course on Industry in New South Virginia worked to recapture the texture of early industry and business in Harrisonburg. Students studied American and Southern industrialization and then pieced together Harrisonburg’s industrial past by researching in early fire insurance maps, historic newspapers, City Council minutes, and incorporation charter books. At the end of the semester, the class produced and hosted a public bus tour that highlighted their findings. The tour visited several industrial and business sites including the locations of a former tannery, a roller mill, a livery stable, automobile dealerships, and a possible cigar factory, and highlighted the remnants of important urban infrastructure including early electrical, water, and sewage utilities. An article about the class entitled "Teaching with Historic Places: Sanborn Maps and Dusty Old Buildings" appears in the 2008 issue of Notes on Virginia, available online through the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.

Students gave a public tour of early Harrisonburg industrial sites, explaining the significance of roller milling at the old Rockingham Milling Company building on Chesapeake Avenue (top) and of early water utilities at the springhouse on Court Square (bottom).

 

Industry 2