Don Wrenn wrote a story for The Courier-Tribune in 1961 profiling the Ramseur Broom Works. Yes, brooms, thousands of them were made in a factory down along the railroad. The plant was capable of making 2400 brooms a week that were sold to textile mills and the consumer market through grocery and chain stores.
The plant was started in 1885 by the Thomas family and managed for many years by Fred Thomas. Mr. Thomas was also Mayor of Ramseur for many years.
Each broom can be made in about two and a half minutes. Materials to make the brooms come from several states. Broom straw comes from Oklahoma….handles from Tennessee….wire from Ohio. The brooms are sold up and down the east coast and as far west as Kentucky.
Loyal employees produced the brooms for many years including Virgil York for 37 years, Junior Welch 20 years and John Haithcock. If you find one of these brooms in a closet or attic, hold on to it. It’s a collectible and a genuine piece of Ramseur history.
From the 1961 “Finer Carolina” scrapbook courtesy of the Ramseur Community Museum.