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If you were born and raised in the South, then you knew someone who worked in a textile mill. But did you really know what their lives were like? Sigmon’s book, Weaving the Heart Threads of a Mill Village: Rhodhiss, North Carolina, will give you more interesting details and intriguing stories about the lives of people who worked and lived in Rhodhiss textile mills than you could ever possibly glean on your own. Personal interviews, factual statistics and beautiful, wonderful pictures await the reader who is interested in this historic time. A good read and an exceptionally well-researched book.
—Sara Thompson, retired Iredell County teacher
As a second grader who was fascinated with her developing reading skills, Sherrie Sigmon’s enthusiasm for words and for books originated. Her excitement for printed materials continued through high school, college, and throughout her outstanding career as a secondary English teacher. Today, Sherrie has shared her talents by writing her first book about a small town--its history, its people, its struggles, and its endurance--located in the foothills of North Carolina. Following years of research, interviews, and countless hours of writing, she has produced a work that will touch the hearts of citizens who lived the events, as well as those who wish to become acquainted with the birth and the growth of the beloved town of Rhodhiss.
—Barbara Jones, retired Caldwell County teacher
Sherrie Hartsoe Sigmon has woven a treasure of interviews, personal experiences, and photos into a valuable history of Rhodhiss, which otherwise might have been lost. I learned so much about the closely-knit community by reading it. The mill provided much more than employment. Workers readily helped with maintenance to the school when needed and offered encouragement to students. An Educational Fund was established to help further opportunities for students, draperies were provided for the auditorium, and necessities were given to the cafeteria. Rhodhiss residents have battled many hardships. Through typhoid outbreaks, impassable muddy roads, soot-covered children and clothes, and many other difficulties, the people were resilient and overcame their challenges. During my years of teaching at Rhodhiss School, 1971-1980, I could see and feel the pride of the community for their school. The children were well-educated and loved by the teachers, staff, and cafeteria ladies alike in a unique family atmosphere. I’ll always cherish my memories of the dear people I loved when I was part of the Little Red School.
—Mary T. Laws, retired Caldwell County teacher
I remember a lot of the names. My closest friend back in those days was Thad Elmore’s son, and Thad was a policeman, so we walked the straight and narrow. I never got into trouble because I knew anything could get back to my dad. Rhodhiss was considered home to me from the time I was 6 years old until we sold the house after my dad’s death in 2011. I still miss the simple town and village we called our playground. Good memories.
—Gerald Jones, former Rhodhissian and son of Calvin and Marguerite Jones.
I often think of things that only someone that has passed on could answer. I remember thinking I’ll call mom only to realize I can’t soon after her passing. That alone is why this book is so paramount in preserving the rich history of Rhodhiss! In 2023 the town will celebrate 120 years of incorporation; this documentation starts around 1875 and is so well documented with over 600 pictures, 28 chapters, and 60 years of research. We are so fortunate to have Sherrie Hartsoe Sigmon who has unselfishly and voluntarily recorded, researched, interviewed, and traveled to put on displays and represent the Town of Rhodhiss!
Thank you, Sherrie, for your tireless effort; you are the only one who will ever know the struggles you encountered along the way. But the rewards will be left for this generation and generations to come. I cannot think of anything that has been more exciting for Rhodhiss since the landing on the moon, and yes that’s in the book.
Rick Justice, Town Manager
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