History of The Mill
A TIMELESS SETTING FOR THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE
In 1902, curious crowds from all around made their way to the tiny city of Starkville, Mississippi to get their first glimpse of electric lights. While workers inside produced high-quality fabric through the night, onlookers gazed in awe at the brand new cotton mill, unaware that this stunning display of technology would usher their small town into a new century of progress. Production and economic success from the mill put Starkville on the map while statewide industry proved Mississippi was capable of great feats.
Fast-forward to 2015, nearly 50 years after the last thread of “Starkville Chambray” was produced, and The Mill at MSU reopened with the same excitement and promise as more than 100 years before. Peruse our full timeline for our historic tale.
In the early days of the cotton mill, people came from all over not for the high-grade fabric being produced, but to catch a glimpse of something they’d never seen: electricity. The lights of the mill shining each night were symbolic of what the building would come to mean to the city of Starkville: a tiny dot on the map that was unaware of the journey it had just begun.
After over a decade of success, Sanders made the decision to expand the cotton mill and increase production to meet the booming demand for their signature “Starkville Chambray” thread. By the time expansion was complete, the mill was producing the Chambray at a rate of 1.5 million yards annually, making them one of the largest providers in the United States.
Following his father’s passing, then-G.M. Robert David Sanders took over Sanders Industries, beginning an even greater expansion in the work and influence of his family’s company. With the younger Sanders at the helm, the company began producing clothing and assorted items made from the Starkville Chambray, and it was his campaign, “What Mississippi Makes, Makes Mississippi,” that helped change perceptions of the growing industrial state.
FIND THE MILL AT MSU
The Mill is located in Starkville, Mississippi, and it is conveniently situated in the midst of the city’s retail and business community – close to Main Street, Highway 12, and Highway 182. The Mill is also within walking distance of Mississippi State University, the state’s largest university.