Not long after the turn of the century, a French manufacturing company, L'Aluminium Francias, began constructing a dam along the Yadkin River Narrows. The dam was to provide power for the aluminum smelter it was also constructing. The company was led by French Industrialist, Adrien Badin. In addition to the dam and the plant. The French company began designing and constructing the town that would house the workers and support the plant. The town and the lake that was created by the dam are both named after Adrien Badin.
In 1915 the Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA), purchased the plant, dam, and town from Badin's company. ALCOA continued with the construction of the plant and development of the town. By the mid-1920s nearly 5,000 people lived here. Badin would incorporate in 1990, and ALCOA closed up shop in 2007.
Today, Badin is a town of about 2,000 residents. Its garden-city design makes it one of the more unique factory towns in North Carolina. A clubhouse built by L'Aluminium France for single male employees and visitors is now home to the 1913 Badin Inn. The 1913 Badin Inn also incorporates the later built Women's Annex to the clubhouse.
|Badin Baptist Church|
Badin's layout is also unique to the parks, bungalows, cottages, and quadruplex rowhouses that make up the town. Churches are mixed in with the residential areas of town making them extremely walkable. The town was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.
With its close proximity to the Yadkin River and Badin Lake, Badin has begun to develop as a destination for the outdoors. With Morrow Mountain State Park nearby, Badin has been a great place to bike, hike, or spend time on a boat. Or stop to shop, relax, or grab a bite to eat afterward.
All photos were taken by post author - January 30, 2021.
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