Steve Tarvin’s Crystal Springs Print Works in Chickamauga is shutting down after being open for over 100 years. You may remember Steve from the 2010 9th District Congressional race and the 2012 2nd District House race. Steve’s known me since I was born, so this strikes really close to home for me. I hate to hear that Steve had to close the plant’s doors, but the nature of the economy coupled with the ever-changing textile industry just made it unsustainable. From the Walker County Messenger:
“There are no excuses,” said Steve Tarvin, the plant’s owner since 1983. “I’d say I wasn’t a good enough businessman to make it in today’s financial climate.”
Tarvin said there are about five companies in the U.S. that operate facilities similar to Crystal Springs Print Works, “but there isn’t enough business between them to keep one plant running full time.”
While there is no consistency in the business and risks far outweigh rewards, Tarvin said that was not always the case.
For decades after its opening in 1909 as Crystal Springs Bleachery Company, the plant was the town’s major employer and Chickamauga grew to become a typical Southern mill town.
But a shifting textile industry made it ever more difficult to maintain profitability and the local plant had been on shaky financial footing for several years.
Steve is a smart businessman. He’s not filing for bankruptcy and exploring different opportunities with the mill. The continuing economic situation may have Steve down, but I have no doubt that he’ll be able to come back in another venture. Good luck, Steve.