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National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


Property Name Stehli Silk Mill
Reference Number 14000195
State Pennsylvania
County Lancaster
Town Manheim Township, Lancaster City
Street Address 701 Martha Avenue
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 4/29/2014
Areas of Significance Industry
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The Stehli Silk Mill is nationally significant under Criterion A in the area of Industry for its association with the development of the silk industry in the United States during the first half of the twentieth century. Stehli and Company (Stehli & Co.) became Lancaster County's largest silk manufacturer and employer. It was also one of the country's premier manufacturers of silk dress fabric, with operations in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and North Carolina. The Stehli Silk Mill on Martha Avenue in Lancaster County was the core of the company's operations-its first plant in the United States and its primary weaving facility for its high-end line of goods. Its products were used by major clothing manufacturers, and it introduced important design innovations with the premier of its Americana line of fabrics in 1925. The company's history charts the trajectory of the twentieth century textile industry in the United States from the construction of this mill to its demise in the 1950s due to the replacement of silk with synthetics, such as rayon and nylon. The period of significance for the complex is 1897 to 1954, spanning six decades from the mill's initial date of construction to the year the mill closed.

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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria