The machine clanks and clacks as Jerry Brown proudly stares on. Yarn spins into metal gears from many directions and at the bottom of the large knitting machine, a tube of fabric emerges. With a quick stitch on another machine, Brown turns the cream-colored cotton tube into a sock.
Sock creation on a machine from 1898 is not what one expects on a cycling tour across North Carolina, but a visit to the Textile Heritage Museum in Glencoe Mills is one of the highlights of today’s Mountains to Coast journey.
Glencoe Mills is rich with history, both in buildings and people. Brown once owned a hosiery plant on the Haw River. Now he volunteers at the museum to demonstrate a small sample of his craft. He is one of several volunteers at the museum. Another, Donnie Kay Ward, offers a warm welcome to visitors and describes the flood of sweaty cyclists in the museum as “magnificent.”