An Industrial Past
Our building was constructed in 1902 and originally housed the Hans Rees Tannery, which produced leather belts for industry and factories. One of the largest tanneries in the country at the time, its operation comprised both our lot and an additional property that reached east to the rail yard. In 1955, Ness Brothers, Inc., purchased the building and operated Ness Disposables, which reprocessed textile remnants for sale. If you look carefully, you can still see the “Ness” brand on the front of our northernmost building. The following year, Mr. Charles Day, Sr., of Day Tobacco purchased the rest of the old Hans Rees Tannery east of our property, tore down the old tannery buildings, and replaced them with tobacco warehouses, making our building the last remaining vestige of the original 1902 construction. From the mid 1960s to 80s, various textile companies leased the site and manufactured blankets, both spinning and weaving. Others made disposable surgical gowns, masks, washcloths and sheets from nonwoven fabrics. In 1978, B&F Slosman acquired the property. Benson Slosman operated Biltmore Village Carpets in part of the building. In 1989, Loren Cook Company, manufacturers of fans for industry, moved into the North warehouse on the property and still here today.