Associated with one of Alabama’s most significant early twentieth-century textile operations, Mignon, the Avondale mill village in Sylacauga, now represents the demise of this once-great industry. Founded in 1897, Avondale chose Braxton Bragg Comer, a successful businessman and future governor of Alabama, to be its president, and the company became known for its progressive labor policies.
Constructed in the mid-1910s, Mignon is typical of similar villages found throughout Alabama, which provided affordable housing and fostered a strong sense of community. With the decline of the textile industry, however, the village became a shadow of its former self, retaining only vestiges of the design and character that defined it in the past. Recently, the Avondale Mill was destroyed by fire, emphasizing once again the fragility of the historic mills that still exist in our state. The efforts of former and current residents of Mignon must be met with support from the larger community if this once-thriving village is to be preserved.
Alabama's Endangered Historic Landmarks
Each year since 1994, Alabama Heritage has highlighted threatened historic sites throughout Alabama. The “Places in Peril” list has identified more than 215 imperiled historic resources throughout the state, and is compiled by the Alabama Historical Commission and the Alabama Trust for Historic Preservation. The locations highlight the results of deferred maintenance, perceived obsolescence, development pressures, and lack of funding—forces that now more than ever threaten our cultural legacy. But awareness is a powerful force, too, and can cultivate a renewed determination to be responsible stewards of our heritage. For more information, visit the AHC or the ATHP websites. Alabama Heritage is proud to bring to you a selection of the places designated as perilous. Please keep your comments to information relevant to the featured place in peril. Alabama Heritage reserves the right to delete any comment that we deem inappropriate.