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Franklinton - A brief history
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Franklinton was established as Franklin Depot in 1839 on land owned by Shemuel Kearney. His home, built in 1759, was originally located south of town and is now the oldest residence in Franklin County. The house was recently purchased and is being moved to nearby Louisburg for restoration. Franklin Depot changed its name to Franklinton in 1842 when the town was incorporated.
According to many locals, Trinity College, originally located near Greensboro, was initially planned and approved to be moved to Franklinton in 1889. Generous offers by local businessmen Washington Duke and Julian S. Carr brought the college to the city of Durham instead in 1892. This well known school is now called Duke University.
Also located in Franklinton is the historic Sterling Cotton Mill, founded by Samuel C. Vann and first opened in 1895. Remaining in the Vann family for many years, the mill was purchased in 1972 by Union Underwear Company, manufacturers of Fruit of the Loom fabric products. Sterling Cotton Mill eventually closed in 1991. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1996.
Burlington Industries, another well known textile and fabric maker at the time, had a facility located in Franklinton, also known as Vamoco Mills. It closed in 1989 and was demolished in 2007. A third mill was also located in Franklinton which has since closed.
Today, Franklinton is the second largest community in Franklin County, North Carolina, a rural surburban community poised for growth.
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Sterling Cotton Mill, Franklinton, NC, National Register of Historic Places