Mill that opened in 1918 to be demolished

Out with the old, in with the new: Demolition crews are busy in Princeton, Kentucky, tearing down a nearly 100-year-old building. 

The oldest part of Princeton Hosiery Mill is being torn down brick by brick, and whole pieces are being cleaned and sold to other construction projects.

Amaryllis Napier said she’s sad to see the building, in which she used to work, go. She first began working at the mill when she turned 18.

“I worked there until it closed in 1992,” Napier said.

Now she’s 86 and the oldest employee at Princeton Finishing, which also makes socks.

“We had a lot of fun working at the hosiery mill. It’s like here,” Napier said, referring to Princeton Finishing, “We’re family.”

One of Princeton Finishing owners, Steve Kanite, said the company is where most workers went after the mill shut down.

“That’s one of our main reasons for starting this up,” Kanite said.

Sock manufacturing has continued there since 1996 while the hosiery mill remained empty.

Two months ago, the building’s current owner Rodney Heaton started demolishing the oldest side. He said in six to eight weeks he hopes to have it completely demolished and start renovating the old factory’s newer building.

Heaton said there are two different renters interested in opening retail stores with a downtown feel in the building. Exact details aren’t being released at this time.

Kanite said he’s glad the building is being put to use.

“I’m glad they’re salvaging the good building and getting the other one down. It was becoming a real eyesore and a danger kids going in there,” Kanite said.

However, Kanite added that, “I would hope some form of manufacturing would go into it.”

Napier is just thankful the building will be used for something.

“I would go by there and pray for that place, that something would go in there,” Napier said.

Heaton said he plans to rent the space out and have it ready for the public in the next six to eight months.

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