Alden Knitting Mills
Post Alden Mills, 511 Marigny was sold to the Sazerac Co. in 1955. Also used as work space by Godchaux’s into the 1980s and bought by Julian Doerr Mutter in 1992, it served as the Doeer Furniture warehouse until 1994. The building was converted to apartments and opened to residents in 2013.

The Alden Knitting Mills hosiery company incorporated in January 1891, and was welcomed into “the field of useful manufacturing industries” in New Orleans by local newspapers. Founded by Asahol (A.W.) McLellan with a few thousand dollars, the firm started out in a small mill on Julia St. near Camp and found quick success. After winning a prize in the hosiery industry division at the World’s Columbian Exhibition in Chicago in 1893, they started work on their new mill. 

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In 1895, Alden Mills purchased two lots at Marigny and Decatur Streets for $7000 and was quickly granted a building permit. With their business continuing to grow, the McLellans built a two-story addition in 1904 in order to increase capacity and production. Five years later, they built a second plant in Meridian, Mississippi. By 1920, they had increased the Marigny and Decatur property holdings by an additional seven lots and added more buildings. 

In 1905, as yellow fever plagued New Orleans, the city decreed that all water cistern pipes should be covered by cloth to prevent mosquito breeding and disease spreading. Alden Mills was given the order to produce 50,000 knitted pipe sleeves at the rate of 3,000-4,000 a day, which would be distributed to city residents. This was not the last time Alden Mills would be contracted by the government; during WWI and WWII, the War Department bought millions of pairs of light wool socks for servicemen.

Eventually, Alden Mills moved much of their manufacturing out of the city, increasing production at the Meridian mill and building a new mill in Independence, LA in 1954-55. During that same time, they started selling off parts of the Marigny/Decatur property. A year later, the administrative offices moved to the Queen and Crescent Building at 344 Camp St. while continuing to sell off parts of the industrial property.

The company continued to make socks, focusing mostly on industrial work socks (called My-T-Tuff), but also moving into the world of colorful and patterned men’s leisure socks in the 1950s. Despite national and international distribution and financial successes, the corporation liquidated in 1967 after a few deaths in the McLellan family.