The history of
Allanstand Cottage Industries, Est. 1895
In those days, the rest of the country was taking steps toward industrialization. An increasing number of goods were available in wide distribution from mills and factories. Family farms began to decrease. Especially affected were the rural mountain communities that had depended on farming and handmade goods. The lure of industrialization led many away to mines, logging industries, and Piedmont mill towns, where wages were paid to buy commercial goods. Fractured by this shift, mountain communities were no longer as self-sustaining. Store bought goods such as clothes, linens, furniture, and dishes were preferred over their handmade equivalents for their variety, uniformity, and their symbol of middle class status. Money for these goods was scarce in Appalachia, as the rough mountain terrain discouraged the development of commercial trade. Where money was scarce, schools, churches, and medical facilities were also scarce or substandard compared to America’s growing middle class. Southern Appalachia was regarded as impoverished and pursued by churches as a prime place for missionary and social work. Frances Goodrich had come to the neglected mountains of North Carolina to bring about what was missing, but on her journey, found herself amidst the resources of a unique culture.
In Brittain’s Cove, Miss Goodrich did more than teach the school children. All aspects of the Dulah Springs community became engaged by her vision and organization. With the school mothers, she conducted regular “sewing and chatting” sessions. Women brought their mending and casually discussed “the resources at hand for bringing healthful excitement” to the tedium of tough mountain life.
|This booklet promoting Allanstand Cottage Industries was written by Frances Goodrich and published by the Women's Home Mission Board of the Presbyterian Church in 1901 or 1902. Goodrich founded Allanstand Cottage Industries while working as a missionary for the Presbyterian Church in Madison County, N.C. The booklet gives a brief history of how Goodrich began to revive the craft of weaving while working in the Brittain's Cove community in Buncombe County and the Allanstand community in Madison County. The story provides significant information on how she learned to dye fibers to use in the making of woven coverlets as well as her research and collection of traditional weaving patterns. There is some mention of basketry and cornhusk crafts being revived. Included is a price list which gives a good outline of the type of work being produced. The illustrations include a watercolor by Goodrich captioned "Weaving the Coverlets."|