One of the oldest buildings in Tallassee overlooking the Tallapoosa River is nothing more than a pile of ash and tin tonight. The Old Cotton Warehouse burned Friday morning, leaving a couple without a business and the local historical society without something to showcase.
It was clear from the beginning Tallassee firefighters never had a chance to save the old warehouse.
"It got a good head start on us." A head start because the building was put together with 400-year old heart pine wood. Built in 1886, the warehouse looked something like this.
"i was devastated.." The Tallassee Historical Preservation Society believes it's lost a jewel considering the history that shaped the Old Mill Complex over the last 109 years. None of the other buildings was damaged.
Bill Goss, a historian, says, "First mill was built on this property, chartered by the Alabama legislature in 1841, went into business in 1844. 20 years later in 1864, the Tallassee Mill became the Confederate Armory." Perhaps no one feels the pain more than Margie Geissinger. She and her husband rented the building from the society and operated X-treme Composite, a boat refurbishing company. Visibly shaken, Geissinger says they had struggled for 4 years but were starting to make a profit. All gone in a matter of hours. As to the cause of the fire, investigators say it may be electrical. The Historical Society confirms the building was re-wired about 3 years ago and it was up to code.