Way back in 1890, the world was quite different from what we have come to know in the twenty-first century. European immigrants poured into Ellis Island by the thousands. Old Man in Sorrow (On the Threshold of Eternity) was one of Vincent van Gogh’s final works. Radio, television, and much less the Internet, were far from being conceived in the contemporary imagination. And the Chicago Cubs, then known as the Colts, was the most dominant franchise in professional baseball. My, how the times have changed!
In that same year, the Cleveland Woolen Mill began construction on a permanent brick structure in which raw wool would be brought in from local farms, processed into cloth, and then cut and sewn into fine garments to be sold worldwide. It was called the Weaver’s Room, and today, this oldest portion of the Mill still stands as a testament to the hard-working character of Southern industry. At the time, the Mill was one of the few clothing factories in the world in which raw material could be transformed into finished products in the same facility. Indeed, during the 1920s, the slogan of the Hardwick Woolen Mill, as it later became known, was, “From the sheep’s back, to the clothing rack.”
When Hardwick Clothes moved in the 1970s to a more modern facility, the old factory building on the corner of Church and Third saw a period of disuse. That was until the late 1990s, when Dr. Ronald Coleman purchased the Mill and began implementing his vision of revitalization for the Cleveland landmark. After over a decade of steady renovation, the Old Woolen Mill is alive with activity again. Today, a portion of the building has been restored on the north end, and it is now home to two commercial shops, four loft apartments, and an event rental facility that takes its clientele back to where it all began: the Weaver’s Room.
Once the heart of this Victorian era clothing factory, the Weaver’s Room is again the keystone of the ongoing renovation project at the Old Woolen Mill as it pushes forward into the twenty-first century. Over the past ten years, the Room has hosted a wide array of events from formal dinners to proms to countless weddings and receptions. Whatever the occasion, the Room offers a distinctive mystique of history with its brick exterior walls and exposed wooden rafters. Over 5,000 square feet, the Room can comfortably hold 275 people, and the ivy-draped outdoor courtyard provides a unique backdrop for warm-weather wedding ceremonies.
Schedule a tour of the Weaver’s Room for your next special occasion. For commercial or residential availability, please contact Ron Coleman at (423) 284-2294.
The Hardwick Woolen Mill was constructed in 1890. Buildings have since been added, eventually reaching about 200,000 square feet of floor space. Starting from the raw wool harvested from surrounding farms, the entire process of cleaning, drying, weaving, cutting, and sewing was performed at the Mill. Eventually the family operated business moved to a modern facility. The building sat empty except a few small tenants. In 1999, the building was purchased by Dr. Ron Coleman. He had visited similar mills in Atlanta, Wilmington, and Charleston and had slowly developed a unique vision for the complex. Dr. Coleman and his team have been working non- stop and have created several artistically unprecedented spaces, some of which include apartments, offices, an event room, and an outdoor stage/music venue. These spaces and more have seen regular use since their completion.