Local Business and Industry

The Museum has several small exhibits dedicated to local businesses that helped shape McMinn County into the thriving small-town community it is today. Local manufacturing companies that are no longer in operation including Athens Furniture, Athens Stove Works, and Athens Mining and Manufacturing were some of the largest employers in the area during the twentieth century. Crescent Sock Company of Niota, founded in 1902, is the oldest operating hosiery mill in the country.
Local newspaper business dates back to the 1830s. The Daily Post-Athenian, still published today, was established in the 1940s after the Athenian merged with the Athens Union Post. A brief history of the local railroad industry illustrates its impact on the community. Interesting artifacts on display from rail service include mailbag catchers and railroad tie nail heads marked with the year they were first used.