Antique Heart Pine From The Heart Of Tennessee
The Bemis Cotton Mill - Jackson, Tennessee
Materials Reclaimed From This Site Include:
- Antique Heart Pine Decking
- Antique Heart Pine Beams
Southend Reclaimed is reclaiming antique heart pine from the Bemis Cotton Mill. The mill was constructed in 1900 on a 300-acre site in Madison County Tennessee by the Bemis Bro. Bag Company. Founder Judson Moss Bemis founded his company in 1858 and established the mill to provide quality cotton for his bag factories. Production at the 21,000-spindle mill began in 1901.
The surrounding community was carefully planned with wide streets and landscaping. Albert Farwell Bemis, the son of Judson, was an 1893 graduate of MIT, who used his civil engineering degree and help of his MIT colleagues to plan this model manufacturing community. In addition to the first 75 homes built for employees, a school, a church and a YMCA were constructed.
Demand for high-quality cotton led to the mill doubling its capacity by 1905. In 1920, an additional 350 acres of land was purchased to make room for more employee homes. During World War II, the mill was converted to wartime operation and added a third shift to produce material for the military.
By 1950, the Bemis Cotton Mill had 1,250 employees who earned about $2,750,000 a year. The mill was producing 50 million yards of cotton cloth and one million pounds of sewing thread per year.
In 1975, the town of Bemis was annexed by the city of Jackson and the Bemis Company sold the mill in 1980. Operation continued for another decade until the mill finally closed in 1991. The 364,000 square-foot building sat vacant after its closing.
Today, the Bemis Cotton Mill lives on through the efforts of Southend Reclaimed. We are meticulously deconstructing this mill and reclaiming the sturdy antique heart pine that ran throughout this structure. About 500,000 board feet from this historic site is now available for new construction through wholesale, or as finished flooring and beams from our mill.