Sanda Hosiery Mill structure eyed for register

By COLBY DENTON

Posted 11/30/17

Cleveland's Historic Preservation Commission has approved a recommendation for the Sanda Hosiery Mill to be added to the National Register of Historic Places. The National Register is the …

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Sanda Hosiery Mill structure eyed for register

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Cleveland's Historic Preservation Commission has approved a recommendation for the Sanda Hosiery Mill to be added to the National Register of Historic Places. 

The National Register is the official list of historic places deemed worthy of preservation by experts in the field. It reviews nominations submitted by states, tribes and other federal agencies, and helps qualifying properties receive benefits and incentives. 

According to Cleveland's chief building official, Brian Turner, Sanda Hosiery Mill was built in 1926 and was important as one of the major hosiery mills in the town, producing, from circa 1940 through the end of the 20th century, a line of top-quality children's hosiery. 

Originally called the Cherokee Hosiery Mill, Sanda Hosiery was known for producing the "Famous Baby Bootie Sock" under the Humpty Dumpty brand name, as well as the popular "Bobby Socks." 

Maps from the period  show there were two buildings constructed on the site of the current mill, built circa 1926-30. The three-story building to the north was brick and was used as a wholesale grocery store, with a feed warehouse to the south and a wooden loading platform. The building on the south end was also brick and was used as a wholesale grocery as well. 

"I think that it's wonderful that we can preserve old, beautiful buildings like this," stated board member Jo Benjamin. "It's a shame that we couldn't do the same for other buildings that have since been condemned or burned; that extra attention might have saved them."

Due to its location near a main line of the Southern Railway, Cleveland was a prime location for goods and distribution. Textile and hosiery mills, which employed thousands of people, were some of the largest industrial operations in Tennessee and throughout the South from the early 19th century through the late 20th. 

According to the National Park Service's website, the more than 90,000 properties that are listed in the National Register represent 1.4 million resources, which includes homes, districts, structures and objects. 

Nearly every county in the United States has at least one place listed in the National Register. 

"While the National Register doesn't preserve buildings from demolition, it is a great designation and honor," board member Randy Wood stated. 

Sanda Hosiery Mill closed in 2000, as operations moved overseas and the building was bought for alternative uses. Once the mill closed, many women in particular were left unemployed.

"I don't think there is any question of whether this location is significant and historical," added board member Sarah Coleman. 

Following a motion to vote on the approval of recommendation by Coleman, Wood seconded and the vote concluded with unanimous support.

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