Eagle & Phenix Mills, Front Street (1200-1300 Blocks), Columbus, Muscogee County, GA
See 12 maps of this location
Front Street (1200-1300 Blocks), Columbus, GA
Find maps of Columbus, GA
Documentation compiled after 1968.
Survey number HAER GA-30
Unprocessed field note material exists for this structure (FN-30).
Building/structure dates: 1868 initial construction
Building/structure dates: 1870 subsequent work
Building/structure dates: 1878 subsequent work
Significance: From its inception in 1851 the dynamic growth of the Eagle Mill represented the most important factor in Columbus's industrial development. In 1860 the Eagle Mill absorbed the faltering Howard Factory (1849) and became the town's largest industry. During the Civil War, the Eagle Mills furnished a variety of products to the Confederacy; in April of 1865, federal troops burned both of the factories. During the next two decades the resurrected Eagle and Phenix Manufacturing Company constantly expanded. Mill No. 1, with a capacity greater than the combined Eagle and Howard factories, began manufacturing in 1868; a slightly larger Mill No. 2 started in 1870; and Mill No. 3 -- its size equal to No. 1 and 2 combined -- started operating in 1878. In 1880 the Eagle and Phenix Mills were the largest producers of textile goods in the South, and during that decade "New South" advocated frequently cited those mills as an example of a successful Southern enterprise. The Eagle and Phenix eventually dominated the water power lots within the original city of Columbus. Utilizing some of that power, they illuminated Mill No. 3 with arc lights as early as 1880. The electric generators, installed in 1907, 1914, and 1920, still supply a majority of their power requirements, and the dam (built 1882), powerhouses (built 1899-1900), and generators represent the mill's most significant remaining technology. The Eagle and Phenix suffered both economic and labor troubles during the depression of the 1890's and went into receivership but was revitalized by 1915. From that date until 1947 it remained a stable, locally owned property and continued to operate the northern portion of the mill as a textile finishing plant and the southern half as a textile manufacturing plant.
Eagle Manufacturing Company
Reeves Brothers, Inc.
Bradley, W. C.
Browne, J. Rhodes
Bussey, H. J.
Debs, Eugene V.
Historic American Engineering Record (Library of Congress)
Back to Columbus, Georgia