The near ghost town of Coleridge sits on the Deep River in Randolph County.  Coleridge was one of the many textile mill communities of the 19th and early 20th centuries that have slowly faded away.

Coleridge is named after one of the founders of the Enterprise Manufacturing Company, which operated the cotton and textile mill here.  James A. Cole, with H.A. Moffitt and Daniel Lambert, began the company in 1882 at Foust's Mill.  Coleridge was also named Cole's Ridge before combining the two words.

Coleridge around 1940. (Wally Jarrell / Randolph County Public Library)

Coleridge was typical of many North Carolina mill towns.  It was home to a company store, bank, company-owned homes, and more - all owned by the Enterprise Manufacturing Company.  At various times, Enterprise's operations in Coleridge included a sawmill, flour mill, and the Coleridge Manufacturing Company that made components for bentwood chairs. (1)

The former Enterprise Manufacturing Company mill offices.

Enterprise's ownership would move to Cole's son-in-law, Dr. Robert L. Caveness.  Caveness would run the company until he died in 1951.  Three years later, his heirs would sell the Coleridge facility to Boaz Mills of Alabama.  Four years later, in 1958, the mill was closed.

Not long after, the Brady Manufacturing Company took over the Coleridge campus.  After a devastating fire had destroyed their Ramseur handkerchief plant, Brady operated in Coleridge, making shoelaces and handkerchiefs until their new facility in Ramseur opened in 1961. (2)

The former Enterprise Manufacturing Company store.  Built around 1910, the store operated into the 1980s.  It is overgrown and unsafe today.

While production at the Coleridge mills ceased, parts of the old Enterprise campus continued operation.  The former factory would serve as a warehouse, and the company store would continue operation into the 1980s.

The Tudor Revival style tower entrance to the former textile factory.  Production ceased here in 1961 - though the building was used for a while as a warehouse for Klopman Mills. (3)

Many of the former Enterprise Manufacturing Company's buildings remain standing at the junction of Highways 22 and 42. The site of the abandoned company store, offices, and bank is a surprise as both highways work south towards the Deep River.  While no longer operable, they give a glimpse of what Coleridge was like over a half-century ago.  Just above these buildings sits the former textile factory.  All brick with entrances designed in the Tudor Revival style; the former factory remains in the center of the community.  Along the Deep River sits the hydroelectric plant connected to the Coleridge Dam.

Many of Coleridge's remaining mill buildings and homes are found in the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Coleridge Historic District. These buildings within the community have been listed on the register since 1976.

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