The Enterprise Manufacturing Company records consist of a group of ledgers, including statement books, journals, cash books, check books and stock certificates, as well as a small number of general business records and reports. These records document the day-to-day operations of the mill from its beginnings until about 1936. One volume of letters relating to the company's Relief and Burial Society during the 1950s is also included. A small number of general office files (SERIES 1) include, among other things, an audit (1923), reports on Enterprise's financial condition from 1877 to 1922, a 1936 efficiency survey, a report on the electrification of the Augusta Canal, and some correspondence.
(1 document case and 54 bound volumes)
One ledger, Social Security Records (MS331-L039), is restricted.
Permission to publish materials from this collection must be obtained from the Head of Archives and Special Collections.
21.5 Linear Feet
These records are mainly made up of a group of ledgers (SERIES 2) documenting the financial status of the Enterprise Manufacturing Company during the mill's early years. Statement books (1878-1925), cash books (1884-1925), check books (1923-1929), draft receipt books, and other ledgers (1884-1928) provide detailed information on the financial transactions of the firm. The company's earliest period, including the time leading up to the alleged embezzlement of funds and the closing of the mill, is covered in a few ledgers and journals (especially L011, L023, L032, and L039). The period of recovery after the closing of the mill and the period of Graniteville Company's purchase of a controlling interest in Enterprise are well supported in the bulk of the ledgers. The collection also includes a volume of letters relating to the Enterprise Relief and Burial Society during the 1950s.
A small number of general office files (SERIES 1) include, among other things, an audit (1923), reports on Enterprise's financial condition from 1877 to 1922, a 1936 efficiency survey, a report on the electrification of the Augusta Canal, and some correspondence.
The Enterprise Manufacturing Company, a textile mill along the Augusta Canal in Augusta, Georgia, was built in 1877 as an addition to an existing grist mill. The company remained in operation for more than 100 years, except for one short hiatus during an economic down-turn in the mid-1880s.
Granite Mill, a four-story flour mill, was first constructed on the Augusta Canal site in 1848, to take advantage of the transportation and water power provided by the newly built canal. After the canal was enlarged in 1875, the possibility of increased water power prompted a group of Augusta businessmen to build a textile mill, the Enterprise Manufacturing Company, adjacent to the Granite Mill. In late 1877 the new building was complete, and operations in both buildings turned to the production of cloth from cotton. Gordon T. Jackson, previously the owner of the Granite Mill, became the new mill's first president.
Three years after it was completed, the Enterprise mill expanded to double its original size. The mill prospered during the early 1880s, producing over 9 million yards of cloth and employing 466 operatives in the fiscal year following the addition. The company soon fell on hard times, however, partly due to Jackson's embezzlement of $150,000 and partly because of the 1884 collapse of the national market. In September 1884 the mill temporarily shut down, and Jackson went to jail the following year. Nevertheless, the company soon regained its footing under the leadership of its new president, James P. Verdery. By the late 1880s prosperity had returned; a weaving room was added in ca. 1888. Further additions during the next thirty years included the starch warehouse (ca. 1890), the cloth warehouse (ca. 1900), and a workers smoking building (ca. 1920).
In 1923 the Graniteville Company, led by three New York businessmen, bought a controlling interest in the Enterprise mill. The presidency passed to Samuel A. Fortson, who remained in charge until 1936. In the same year, the Graniteville Company decided to combine the Enterprise operations with that of the Sibley Manufacturing Company, which the Graniteville Company had also acquired in 1923, to form the Sibley-Enterprise Manufacturing Company. Four years later, in 1940, the two mills became divisions of the Graniteville Company.
The Enterprise Manufacturing Company remained in operation until 1983, when the mill finally shut down. After remaining vacant for over a decade, in 1997 the mill was converted into a multi-use facility with loft apartments, office space, and restaurants.
Arranged into two series. The contents of the second series is listed both alphabetically and chronologically:
A print copy of this finding aid is available in the Georgia Tech Archives reading room.
This collection was originally donated to the Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library (MARBL) at Emory University in 1978. The records were transferred to the Georgia Tech Archives in December 2007.
Transferred to the Georgia Tech Archives from MARBL, Emory University, in December 2007 (accession number 2007.110).
(1 document case and 54 bound volumes)
Christine de Catanzaro and Melanie Stam completed the processing of these records in November 2008.