In 1900, Col. Francis Henry Fries damned the New River and built a mill to spin cotton into cloth. When it opened in 1903, the Fries Mill (Washington Mills) had the most sophisticated technology in the world. It closed in 1988, unable to compete with the world's least developed countries.
In the boom days after World War II, there were 1,200 people working in the mill. Raw cotton was brought into the mill to be spun into yarn- as all threads used to make fabric are known- then woven into cloth.
The Virginia Tech School of Architecture donated the original blueprints of the Mill to the Grayson County Historical Society. The blueprints are stored in an atmosphereically controlled vault in the Grayson County Clerks Office located in the Courthouse. The blueprints are available to the public for viewing.
First and second Plans for Addition to Washington Mills Cotton Mill. (1919)
Original Foundation Plan for the Washington Mills Cotton Mill. (1901)
Original Warehouse, Ironwork and Window Plans for Washington Mills Cotton Mill. (1901)
Original Sprinkler and Hydrant Plans. (1902)
Original Storehouse Plans. (1901)
Mill Addition Roof Plans. (1919)
Original Plans for Stonework around Fries Cotton Mill. (1901)
Original Roof Plans (1901)
Copies of Original Plans for Fries Cotton Mill.
Tower Addition Plans: pipes, etc. (1974)
Original Dam Gates Plans. (1901)
Original Machinery Layout Plans. (1901)
Original Water Dept H Study Plan. (1922)
Topo Map of Fries Cotton Mill. (1953)
Original Window and Doors Plans. (1901)
Plans for Changes to Cotton Mill – electrical, etc.(1964 & 1970)
Reprint of 1901 Survey of all properties owned by Washington Mills. (1949)
Original Survey of all Properties Owned by Washington Mills. (1901)
Original Mill Plans for all Floors Building #1. (1901)
Plans For Changes to Cotton Mill. (1967)
Vellum Plans Warehouse. (1952)
Frieght Elevators Plan. (1932)
Original Floor Plans 2nd & 3rd Floors. (1901)
Original Blueprints of Fries Mill Available for Viewing