The Fulton Bag and Cotton Mill has been a center of the Cabbagetown neighborhood since it opened in 1881, when Jacob Elsas established it.  This mill provided the impetus for the development of a mill village on what was then the outskirts of Atlanta.  This site was chosen for the Cotton Mill as a result of its location near the rail lines, which allowed easy access to coal, and to a then existing branch of the Yellow River, that provided a water source, the two key elements needed to drive the steam equipment that powered the mill.

The Cotton Mill shaped the surrounding community.  The company owned the land and provided housing for its workers, who became the residents of Cabbagetown.  This enclave’s background as Appalachian farmers is evident in the style of home that were built and in the way in which the community identified itself.  Uniquely the mill village’s location within an urban context allowed mill workers greater choice in the places that they choose to live, and the jobs that they could have if they left the mill.

The history of the Fulton Bag and Cotton Mill and Cabbagetown have been intertwined since their respective foundations, each influencing the other as they have transformed over the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.  This Digital Exhibit looks at the growth and change of this area from the perspective of the Cotton Mill and the economic, social and political forces that shaped its creation, growth, decline, abandonment and eventual revitalization.

For more information regarding the Cabbagetown neighborhood please visit the Tale of Two Neighborhoods Exhibit.