1900 Bricks were brought in by rail from Rome for the completion of No. 3 Mill.
1901 The mill now has 50,016 spindles, 422 looms and employs 1,200 people. Article in The Summerville News on July 17th under the headlines: "The Pride of Chattooga County, Trion Factory, Georgia, The Fourth Largest Mill in the State".
1912 The mill was in decline and forced into bankruptcy. Benjamin D. Riegel, a New York businessman, and the Riegel group purchased all assets and became the new owners. The name of the newly formed company was called the Trion Company. Under Mr. Riegel’s guidance the mill and the town once again began to flourish. The greatest period of growth for both the mill and the town occurred through the efforts and vision of Mr. Riegel. One touch of irony in all of this is that Mr. Riegel was 34 years old at the time ? the same age of Deforrest Allgood when he died. For this writer, studying the personalities, character and ambitions of the two men, it is almost as if Mr. Riegel took up the unfinished work and dreams of Deforrest Allgood!
1913 to 1934 The face of Trion begins to change. Muddy streets become paved and better housing is built for the employees. A large farm is put into production on the many acres of land owned by the company. The small birch store, substantial though dingy became a modern Department Store (The Big Friendly). A beautiful plaza was built in front of the store. The row of brick apartments along Park Avenue was built. An outdoor pool was built on the south side of the river that was later covered over by a large building known as the “Y”. The “Y” housed the pool, a library, a gymnasium, a bowling alley, a theater, a billiard room, dressing rooms and a snack bar. The hospital was built. A glove mill was added in 1931, employing over 900 young girls. This addition prompted the building of Leila Riegel Hall in 1934. This building was built as a dormitory to accommodate any single girls working for the company. Later the building became the Trion Inn. One of the most modern dairies in the South was built in 1934. The golf course and the Lodge were also built during this period of growth. All of this speaks volumes about the keen business sense and determination of Benjamin D, Riegel. Our country was in the midst of the Great Depression. In other parts of the country there were bread lines, former businessmen selling pencils on street corners and even suicides over the sad state of financial affairs. The famous humorist, Will Rogers remarked, “We are the first country in the history of the world to go to the poor house in an automobile!” Mr. Riegel, the mill and the people of Trion refused to participate in the Great Depression.

1934 marked the 3rd closing of the plant for any length of time. Throughout the South unions were making a strong push to organize factories and mills. “Flying Squadrons” of union activists were sent into mill communities to gain support. The large group of employees working in Trion was high on their list. Led by a group of people from the Rome Foundry, along with some local people, a mob literally tried to take over the mill. Trion’s Chief of Police, Mr. Hix, was killed attempting to protect the mill. Others that had come on to work that day were beaten or roughed up. Eventually the National Guard was called in. The mill remained closed for approximately six weeks.

1936 The Riegeldale Tavern, one of the few buildings other than mill additions remaining from the era of rapid growth was constructed in the summer. What started off as an idea for a roadside stand to sell dairy and farm products along highway 27 became one of the most beautiful and best places to eat in the South. Amazingly, the Tavern was built in six weeks in order to be ready for Mr. Riegel’s Guernsey Field Day. The cost of construction was $32,000. In the fall construction of the beautiful gardens began and was completed in the spring of 1937. Cost of the gardens was $36,000. Mr. L.C. “Sadd” Dalton, Engineer and Construction Superintendent for the company was the mastermind behind the construction. He also built the hospital, the “Y”, Leila Riegel Hall and Trion High School in 1938.

1937 Finishing Plant constructed adding 200 more employees.
1941 Mr. Benjamin D. Riegel died on November 6th. John L. Riegel, his cousin took charge.
1943 The prestigious Army-Navy E Award was presented to the Trion Company and its employees. The presentation was a grand affair with many radio stations covering the speeches live and newspapers devoting several pages to the coverage. One of the three employees chosen to accept the award on behalf of all employees was J. M. Wooten. The following is a portion of Mr. Wooten’s eloquent address: “It is with great pride, yet humbly, that we, the employees of Trion, accept this award which represents a hard job well done on our part as well as the part of the management. We will wear our pins proudly and we will work harder than ever to prove that these symbols of our efficiency have been honestly earned…We are glad that we have done the job as well as they say we have but I do not need to say that any time Uncle Sam needs us, the people of Trion will not falter but will cooperate to the fullest extent in order that liberty and freedom in this country will march on forever.” During World War II, the mill produced 50 million yards of herringbone for use in making fighting uniforms. The Finishing Plant finished 58 billion yards of herringbone. The herringbone finished at Trion would have been enough fabric to make 10,500,000 fatigue suits; enough to outfit the entire U.S. Army! 4 million yards of tent twill was produced by the mill and the Finishing Plant finished over 7 million yards of tent twill. The mill produced over 7 ½ million yards of material for gun patches and over 2 ½ billion gun patches were produced by the Glove Mill. Placed end to end, the patches would reach 107,322 miles! The Glove Mill also produced over 7 ½ million dozen gloves for the armed forces. That is 180 million individual gloves!
1945 No expense was spared in the celebration of Trion's 100 years of existence. People were hired from New York to produce a Centennial Pageant. Thousands watched the impressive event. It was covered by several area newspapers.
1946 to 1950 The Trion Company and Ware Shoals Manufacturing Company incorporated as Riegel Textile Corporation. Mill Village houses are sold to individuals. Over 5,000 are employed in Trion.
1951 to 1960 Various machinery upgrades and mill expansions are made.
1966 On August 24th, Riegel stock traded on New York Stock Exchange at 20-1/8.
1971 to 1976 Denim! An indigo range, eleven rebeamers, two sanforizers (pre-shrinking machines) and a finishing range were installed in the mill at the beginning of 1971 for the production of denim. On April 20th the first loom began to weave the blue fabric. This loom was producing DDB a 14 ounce, heavyweight denim. By October of 1973 400 looms were producing denim. 700 looms were producing denim by November of the following year. In July of 1975 another indigo dye range was added, followed by the addition of nine more rebeamers in November. On June 5, 1976 1,100 looms were churning out the blue fabric. An ammonia range was installed in 1976 to finish the denim with a unique finish called “Sanforset”. Two more sanforizers were added in the fall of the same year to handle the growing production of and demand for Trion denim. The growth of denim production in this five year period is nothing short of phenomenal!

Mr. W. E. Reid, one of the most dynamic textile leaders I have ever had the pleasure of meeting, made the decision to change mill production to denim. Many looked at this decision with skepticism. History has shown that this single decision has been the best decision made for the Trion mill and its people since Marsh, Allgood and Briars decided to locate their small mill here in 1845. Mr. Harold Peek was given the task of transforming a mill that had produced greige fabrics for almost 130 years into a producer of yarn dyed fabric called denim. He was more than up for the task. The idea of Bill Reid combined with the experience, know-how, determination and just plain old common sense of Harold Peek gave us one of the greatest success stories in modern textile history!
1978 to 1984 The shuttles are gone! In June of 1978 the installation of Sulzer projectile looms began. These wide looms were capable of producing two rolls of denim at each loom. By 1982 200-130 inch Sulzers were in production along with 175-153 inch Sulzers. In 1980 a wash range was installed to over dye denim. During this same time period (March of 1981 through March of 1984) the Spinning Room was converted from ring spinning frames to open end spinning frames with 48 frames originally installed.
1985 R. B. Pamplin Sr., one of the three original founders of Georgia Pacific, purchases Riegel Textile Corporation. After retiring, Mr. Pamplin was in excellent health and still possessed his strong interest and insight in business dealings. He had previously served on the Board of directors for Mount Vernon Mills and shortly after his retirement purchased the company. He then discovered an opportunity to acquire another textile company, Riegel. At this time Mr. Pamplin was not the only person keeping an eye on Riegel stock. Mrs. German H. H. Emory, daughter of Benjamin D. Riegel was the major stockholder. After more than one offer to sell her stock, she chose to sell her holdings to Mr. Pamplin. Her decision was not a monetary one. Others had offered her more for her stock than Mr. Pamplin. She based her decision to sell on the fact the she believed that Mr. Pamplin would be the best person to guide the company and take care of the employees and the communities in which they worked. She saw in Mr. Pamplin the same qualities she saw in her father. Mrs. Emory proved to be an excellent judge of character.
1990 On February 16th the “Hundred Year Flood” hit Trion. People were evacuated from homes, cars and houses were damaged or destroyed and the water had filled the mill basement and was lapping on the warps in the Weave Room. Water was above electric motors and other valuable electronic equipment. CNN and all the other major networks rolled into town followed closely by the Red Cross. The very thing that once powered all the machinery in the mill a century before was now threatening to destroy it. The cleanup was a monumental task. Amazingly, the mill only stood silent for 10 days. Many, many people worked tirelessly to restore the mill to operating order.
1991 A major modernization project began and was wisely planned in phases, starting with the mill’s greatest needs for improvement. The modernization spanned several years. The first phase began in two areas: Opening/Carding and Denim Dyeing. New cards and opening equipment was added along with the construction of a new building for indigo dyeing and rebeaming. New dye ranges (the largest in the world at the time) were purchased and installed in the newly built facility. Additional phases would include further modernization in Opening/Carding, Spinning and Weaving along with a new distribution center.
1992 In a publication by Sulzer Ruti, under the heading Mount Vernon Trion, Georgia: The World's Largest Projectile Weaving Mill, Mr. Harold Peek is quoted as saying, "The best people and the best machinery make the best fabric. We control everything right here. Yarn, fabric, and finishing are all within minutes of my office."
1994 United Daughters of the Confederacy, Preservation of Records and Historical Spots erected an historical marker proclaiming the mill "Oldest Textile Mill in Northwest Georgia".
1998 Mount Vernon was given the prestigious honor of being declared "Model Mill" by Textile World, an international trade publication read all over the world. This is the equivalent of winning an "Oscar" in the movie industry or being World Champions in sports.
Today With the modernization plan that began in 1991 now complete, the mill has the most modern equipment available in the world. The mill has 1,100,000 square feet of manufacturing space, consumes 2,500,000 pounds of cotton each week (3,500 acres) and produces 2,700,000 square yards of denim each week (over 850 miles). Denim is shipped to several locations in the United States as well as many foreign countries on a weekly basis. The company is debt free and has the best workforce in the textile industry. Quoting Mr. Roger Chastain, President of Mount Vernon: “If there is only one denim mill left in this country, we intend it to be this one!”

Many changes have taken place since the little mill on the bank of the river was constructed in 1845. Science has given us electricity, the automobile, the train, airplanes and the computer. The mill has survived war, floods and fire. Buildings have come and gone. People have come and gone. A lot has happened in 160 years. The one constant through it all, the one constant that has made this mill a survivor is the spirit of the people of Trion.