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Blanket Town

I Spent a cou­ple of Sum­mers work­ing here while in col­lege, and made good mon­ey — enough to live on through the rest of the year. Most of my imme­di­ate and extend­ed fam­i­ly worked here, either a lit­tle bit, or all of their lives. When it was good, it was great, but Amer­i­can fac­to­ries could not keep up with imports from coun­tries with much low­er costs of liv­ing (not to men­tion sweat shops and slave labor).

The work at Bea­con was hard, but it gave its employ­ees a good wage, and a way to raise them­selves and their chil­dren out of pover­ty after the World Wars and the Great Depres­sion. Peo­ple (like my grand­par­ents) left their homes and fam­i­ly farms for the promise of a bet­ter life (or just to help their par­ents). I can­not say I like some of what Bea­con did to Swan­nanoa, at least in ret­ro­spect, because its dom­i­nance kept the town from grow­ing into some­thing sus­tain­able and ulti­mate­ly killed it, but over­all Bea­con Blan­kets made things bet­ter for peo­ple through­out West­ern North Car­oli­na.

In the end, the com­pa­ny and its own­ers, the Owens fam­i­ly, are to be com­mend­ed.

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