Union Mills Volunteer Fire Department
ABOUT OUR AREA
The Union Mills Community lies along U.S. Highway 221 in the Northern most part of Rutherford County, North
Carolina. We compose a growing residential area with little business and industry. We are located within
fifteen minutes' drive of shopping, dining, motels, and industrial plants. The Lake Lure, Chimney Rock and Hickory Nut Gorge areas are half-hour drive. We are approximately one-hour drive from Asheville, the ski slopes of the Boone area, the Blue Ridge Parkway, Linville Gorge area, and Mount Mitchell as well as Spartanburg and Greenville in South Carolina. Little more than an hour will take one to the Charlotte Area.
For the mining and gem enthusiast, the area is home to the Thermal City Gold Mine, three other mining and camping sites are only minutes away. Located nearby is the site of the former Betchler Mint and Mining area, famous for its gold coins. Other historical points of interest located nearby are the Over Mountain Trail, Cane Creek, Gilbert Town, and our County Seat of Rutherfordton (formerly Old Tryon); less than an hour takes one to the Revolutionary War Battlegrounds at Kings Mountain and Cowpens.
The community is home to Pinnacle Elementary School, which host approximately five hundred students from the surrounding area. The Rutherfordton-Spindale Central High School is located ten minutes away from the center of the community, another five minutes takes us to the campus of Isothermal Community College. Within ten minutes' drive are seventeen churches of varying denominations, and the United World Mission Training Center. The community was home to the former Alexander Schools Incorporated and Round Hill Academy, the home and education facility for thousands of children from across the U.S. as well as the local population. The former school building is now operated by the Union Mills Progress Association, a non-profit organization. The facility, known as The Learning Center, offers opportunity for adult computer classes, exercise programs and meeting area. In January 2012 the facility installed high speed wireless internet and installed fifteen laptop computers for use by the public. The organization is working with non-profit internet service provider Foothills Connect to extend internet service into the community. Plans are to expand these programs as funds are available.
The Center for Intercultural Training occupies the former dormitories and dining hall.
The majority of present-day residents of the community can call back more than a hundred years of family history in the area when farming and saw milling were a means of supporting the family. Close ties to family and neighbor was and is a way of life.
Many have and will leave the area to seek advancement in life, but most will forever hold firm that deep-seated respect for family and neighbor. Those who remain will long stand proud of their heritage as well as their present.
The second weekend of August brings the alumni of ASI and Union Mills School back for homecoming. Former students and faculty return year after year for an exchange of memories and catch up on changes. Graduates from as early as the 1930 era return for the event.