Days Gone By - stories from the past

Have you ever observed a ghost at this former Dallas Mill area in Huntsville at night? {vintage pics}

Dallas Cotton Mill, in Huntsville, Alabama burned in the summer of 1991. It operated from 1892 to 1949 and ghost stories about a man wandering the site still linger.

Dallas Mills was a manufacturer of cotton sheeting. The company was chartered in 1890 by T.B. Dallas, and began operation in 1892 as Alabama’s largest cotton mill, manufacturing sheeting. In 1891 the company announced that the Dallas Cotton Mill was to be located in Huntsville. At the time Huntsville’s population at that time was 7,995 citizens.

Closing hour, Saturday noon, at Dallas Mill. Every child in photos worked in that mill in 1910 when photographed by Lewis Wickes HinePeople working in Dallas Mills3 1910People working in Dallas Mills2 1910

People working in Dallas Mills 1910

Homes, Medical care, Churches were provided

The mill village extended from Oakwood Avenue, South to O’Shaughnessy Avenue, and West to Dallas Avenue. Employees were provided homes, medical care, churches, library, lodge building, YMCA, concerts, a kindergarten, and schools.People working in Dallas Mills6 1910People working in Dallas Mills5 1910People working in Dallas Mills4 1910

Genesco Shoe Company owned the Mill until 1985

The mill closed in 1949. Dallas Village was incorporated into Huntsville six years later in 1955. Genesco Shoe Company then used the mill building for a distribution operation until 1985. After that the mill was vacant until the building was destroyed by a fire on July 24, 1991 that lasted three days.

Ghost Stories persist

A ghost story persists that at the time of the fire there was a homeless man that was living in the vacant building. It is said that his ghost is seen in the area at night. His footsteps were heard in the halls of the old mil and his face was seen peering out of the windows.

Another story is told that a man died while he was cleaning the smokestacks and his ghost has been seen in the shadows as he wanders around the area at night.

Dallas Cotton Mill
Dallas Cotton Mill, Huntsville, Alabama

Here is an old map of the village. Dallas Mill village map.

Today, the site of the old mill is being revitalized and homes are being renovated in the former Dallas Mills area. Many commercial developments have also opened new businesses in the once busy location.


  2. Library of Congress

Start researching your family genealogy research in minutes. This inexpensive Ebook has simple instructions on how to get started with FREE sources. Download WHERE DO I START? Hints and Tips for Beginning Genealogists with On-line resources to your computer immediately with the a FREE APP below and begin your research today!


“This book was very informative and at a very modest price.  Thank you for your great newsletter and this book.”

“The book was clear & concise, with excellent information for beginners. As an experienced genealogist, I enjoyed the chapter with lists of interview questions. I’d recommend this book to those who are just beginning to work on their genealogies. For more experienced genealogists, it provides a nice refresher.”

See other books by Donna R Causey

WHERE DO I START? Hints and Tips for Beginning Genealogists with On-line resources (Kindle Edition)

By (author):  Causey, Donna R

List Price: $7.97
New From: $7.97 In Stock
buy now

About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

Liked it? Take a second to support Alabama Pioneers on Patreon!


  1. Please sign me up

    1. AP website is free. You can sign up for the daily newsletter on the main page and receive an email of the latest posts.

  2. Stop posting so many interesting articles. I am going to be late for work today!

    1. LOL – I’m sorry – Hope you made it to work on time.

  3. Some of my family worked in this mill. I remember it very well.

  4. Its a shame we can’t get a good sheet to sleep on anymore. Most are made in china now and its like sleeping on sand paper .

  5. LOL VICKI Chandler…. Good thing I’m retired!!!!!

    1. You can accept it as a part of history in the South, or skip the story.

  6. I miss that place. I remember it burning a ashes as big as my head landing in my dad’s yard.

  7. My maternal grandparents, great-aunt and Uncle and kids left TN mountains and came by muke and wagon to Huntsville to work in Dallas Mill. Anither if my great-aunts lived in the “mill village” on Oskwood until she passed away in the 70’s.

  8. Dallas in Huntsville was one of the largest mills in the state, I don’t know how it compared to Avondale in Birmingham. Mill work seems to have given some of those boys attitude. I guess they needed a hard edge to survive the tough work at that young age.

  9. Look like a chapter of the Bowery Boys…..

  10. Guess the owner anticipated the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico; good thinking!

  11. We lived a few miles from the mill. When it burned down our yard had so much ash in it that it looked like it had snowed. A couple of years later I worked in the remaining building and it was one of the most interesting places I have ever been in.

  12. all that white privilege 🙁

  13. Children, denied a childhood and an education all for $$$$$. Shameful.

  14. Alice Farrow
    Liz Hayes

  15. I don’t see any snowflakes in that picture.
    A different generation, a better generation.

  16. These young men went to work at 13-14 and were ready to serve their Country at 17…now they protest and complain till age 26 on the taxpayers dime only to flip burgers or live off good hearted family members…lots of young men started trade jobs back in the day and gave up their formal education…just sayin.

    1. DerrickandAmy Heckman, well said !

  17. That was a beautiful mill. I remember ash the size of dinner plates from that fire in my father’s yard.

Leave a Reply to Alan Wright Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.