Ellenboro Acquires Colfax Cotton Gin Site

A Cellebration of Rutherford County History

The Town of Ellenboro has made a giant stride towards preserving the rich textile history of Rutherford County by acquiring the Colfax Cotton Gin property with plans to reimagine the space as a public park and gathering space.

The area around the Town of Ellenboro, originally called Colfax Township, located in Rutherford County, is steeped in culture and history -- based largely on agriculture and the Industrial Revolution. In 1880, the Seaboard Air Line Railway built a line from Wilmington, NC to Rutherfordton and along the way, several new towns were established, one of which was the Town of Ellenboro, named after the daughter of an engineer from the Seaboard RR.

Several historic sites still stand in Ellenboro. With the Town's long history of civic pride and past celebrations such as Big Days, the Colfax Free Fair, and the Fiddler's Conventions, the Town is now working to preserve their history and renew interest in local landmarks with enormous potential as cultural and recreational assets.

The Old Ellenboro Train Depot

The Old Ellenboro Train Depot first served the community's needs beginning around 1905 and was an important transportation hub for decades. Today, the train still runs nearby, but the original depot building now serves as the Colfax Museum, a unique attraction full of local history and originally directed by former town alderman, Mike Rhyne.

Old Ellenboro Train Depot

The Ellenboro Presbyterian Church

The Ellenboro Presbyterian Church was established in 1914 and served an important and active role in the community for more than a century. After closing in 2018, the Church has now been restored to its former glory and is once again an honorable cornerstone of the community

Ellenboro Presbyterian Church

The Colfax Cotton Gin

When the Colfax Cotton Gin was built in 1928, the area became known for cotton production, which provided a livelihood for many area residents. After operating for more than 80 years, the gin eventually fell victim to industrial and economic changes. Although no longer an operating gin, as a result of its recent acquisition by the Town of Ellenboro, the site will soon get a new life as a public park and gathering space. Preliminary plans for the site are currently being developed.

Colfax Cotton Gin
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