“The Roosevelt administration signed sweeping worker protections into law, addressing many of the issues that drove Loray employees to strike in 1929.
“And, [Gaston County historian Jason] Luker says, things changed dramatically when the mill was sold to Firestone [in 1935]. People were paid better, worked better schedules and were even able to buy houses from the company in the mill village.
“ ‘The people who worked for Firestone worked for Firestone for 30, 40, 50 years,’ Luker said. ‘That’s a far cry from the people who struck multiple times. It’s a completely different mindset.’ ”
— From “90 years ago, a Gastonia strike was world news” by Dashiell Coleman in the Gaston Gazette (March 29, 2019)
Among other benefits newly available to Firestone workers: life, disability and hospitalization insurance (“room and board, not exceeding $3.50 a day”).
As tire-making technology advanced, the mill switched from cotton to synthetic fibers, then closed in 1993. In 2013 developers began renovating it for residential and commercial use.