Old Mill buildings turned into ink pens

BELMONT, NC (WBTV) - They are the skeletons of an industry. Some are left standing but soulless.

They are the old mill buildings of North Carolina that once bustled and thrived with business. The textile industry is slowly fading, and many of the old buildings that housed it have been torn down.

The thought of that makes Yates Abernethy sad.

"Once these buildings are gone, they're gone forever," Yates says, "There's no reclaiming them."

The 79 year old Belmont native took the thought personally.

He now spends hours toiling in his wood shop using wood from abandoned and demolished mill buildings to make ink pens.

He cuts and drills the wood into manageable pieces. He glues a metal tube into a hole bored into the wood. He refines and sands the square into a round piece that fits perfectly into pre-fabricated pen pieces.

He's made pens from mill buildings in Gaston County like, Imperial, Pharr, Spencer Mountain and Stowe. He's hoping the small tokens will help keep the history of the industry that built the area, alive.

Watching him toil away in his wood shop, it's obvious, his labor is of love.

Yates sells his pens to the public for $20-$30 depending on the design. If you'd like more information, you can contact Yates Abernethy at 704-827-7348.

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