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The twin cities of Enka-Candler


Candler, North Carolina, in 1953. The highway is US 19-23. At the upper left, silhouetted against the sky, are the smoke stacks of what was then the American Enka plant. Just left of center next to the road you can see part of a sign that says "Miami", advertising the Miami Motel which still stands and still serves a country breakfast in their restaurant. Photo from the Citizen-Times archives.

The American Enka plant at Enka, North Carolina, about 1929, shortly after the plant was built. It first produced rayon then later nylon for carpets, drapes, stockings, and automobile tire cord. The plant was sold to the German firm BASF in 1985 and then to Colbond, another Netherlands company. (The name Enka comes from the sound of the first letters of the original Dutch company, Nederlandsche Kunstziidefabriek.) Currently, demolition is underway of most of the buidings except for the clock tower (the tall narrow building left of center -- it was actually a water tank for fire fighting) and some structures near the Sandhill Road entrance that served as a gymnasium, offices, and a hospital(!) when the plant was thriving.