This mill, the largest textile mill in antebellum S.C., was chartered in 1845 and opened in 1847. It was founded by William Gregg (1800-1867), a Virginia native and advocate of industrial development who chose this site for its proximity to waterpower, granite deposits, and the S.C. Railroad. The company provided housing, a school, a store, and land for churches, creating a model mill village. Unlike most early textile mills, it was adequately funded.
Under Gregg's management early Graniteville families lived under strict rules and a rigid schedule, and became a close-knit community. During the Civil War the mill made fabrics for the Confederacy. After Gregg died in 1867 while fighting a flood on Horse Creek the company was run by its board, which expanded its operations. After several changes in ownership Graniteville remains one of the oldest textile manufacturing concerns in the South.