•It’s an alien spacecraft!?!•
Before I get into what is driving me crazy, let me explain what it is that we are talking about. This is the Hartsville Oil Mill which was founded in 1900 by J.L. Coker. The cotton oil mill is the last one still operating in the state. As I’ve traveled around I’ve learned to identify some of the various buildings related to the manufacture of cotton. While passing through Hartsville I noticed this mill. The shape is hard to miss. Something about the pyramid shape screams science fiction to me. I can’t comprehend why it needs to look that way. Why do all the cotton oil mills look like pyramids? It is beyond me, even though I bet the answer is simple. I doubt it is just someone’s fascination with polyhedrons, but figuring out the answer hasn’t been too easy.
No matter how many old books I looked through or websites I searched, I can’t seem to discover the reason why the building needs to look the way it does. From what I did discover, a large screw is used to move the seed from outside into the building where it is stored on top. The answer may involve pressure. The weight of the seed being piled up high helps with the process of making oil from the seed. That still doesn’t really explain the shape though, you could just use more of a dome-like shape if that was the case, couldn’t you? Perhaps a dome would be preferable, it is just that the construction of a pyramid is far easier than a dome? Either way, this is one mystery that aggravates me to no end. I am sure the answer is fairly straightforward, and hopefully, someone will be kind enough to explain.
Either way, I love the design and I hope that this last operating mill stays in business for a long time.
Location: 34.29153, -79.87924