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The South Yadkin River descending 18 feet at Pearson Falls at Cooleemee powered an antebellum rural industrial complex that included a gristmill, saw mill, and iron foundry that manufactured textile machinery. Later a 12-foot stone dam helped power the cotton mill, while a modern roller mill replaced the gristmill. In 2005 a power company bulldozed the stone foundation of the roller mill. (Courtesy of Textile Heritage Center at Cooleemee.)

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