The GARNER Historic District of New York, once the Garner Print Works and subsequently known as the Rockland Print Works, was built between 1838 and the early 20th century, and is named after the Garner brothers, the second owners of the original calico printing plant built on the site in 1830.
At one time, the plant employed thousands of workers and grew to include the printing and dyeing of wool, cotton and linen. A company town, known as Garnerville, grew up around the Print Works and included housing within a gated community complete with streetlights, its own police force and firehouse and the first YMCA in Rockland County. The Print Works was a prolific plant and produced enough cloth to provide a dress for every woman in America. Its stock was traded on the New York Stock Exchange, and the mill’s history includes the production of Civil War uniforms to news accounts of Garner daughters’ marriages to European royalty to worker conditions reported in early unionization newspapers. The mill, which today contains 27 buildings containing over 365,000 square feet of space, closed briefly during the Great Depression but was brought back to life in 1934 by the Garnerville Holding Company, which has owned and operated the site to the present day.
The GARNER Historic District complex has received historic designation for its industrial era architecture reflecting an amalgam of architectural styles, for its social significance as a company town, and for being one of the first industrial cooperatives in America. The District is listed on the National and New York State Registers of Historic Places under the name Rockland Print Works.
Visit our Historic Timeline for a quick look at our significant historical milestones or for an in-depth account of the fascinating history of the former Print Works, including the architectural styles and features of the former mill buildings, see the full National Historic Register Nomination or listen to our President’s radio interview with the Historical Society of Rockland County. Visit us and be sure to go on a walkabout with our Historic Maps as your guide.
View a clip of our Historic Documentary Here, purchase the full documentary available in the GARNER Store or watch the full documentary in our on-site Visitors Center. For a Look Back in Photos, scroll down!