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Huntsville’s Lowe Mill: From textiles to jungle boots to art
By Tom Adkinson
April 15, 2022

ohio river
Huntsville's Lowe Mill; Image by Tom Adkinson

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – Lowe Mill is a massive complex of hulking red brick industrial buildings whose appearance belies its current incarnation. It opened in 1901 as a textile factory, shifted into warehousing, became a shoe factory (the source of jungle boots for the Vietnam War), returned to warehousing and only then morphed into the home of 150 studios where 200 artists demonstrate their creativity.

A leftover water tower is the landmark that guides you to Lowe Mill. Once there, wander the hallways and climb the stairs to find high-ceilinged studios filled with painters, fashion designers, ceramic artists, jewelry makers, glassmakers, photographers, sculptors, printmakers, woodworkers and more. One ceramic studio has a two-hour class if you want to create your own art.

Danny Davis Tangled Strings
Danny Davis of Tangled Strings. Image by Tom Adkinson

Tangled Strings Studios is one of the more unusual Lowe Mill businesses. It’s a guitar shop where guitars are both sold and made. There’s a small stage, so you may chance into a performance, and you’ll usually find owner and guitar maker Danny Davis for some good conversation. Ask about his soul-satisfying transition from mechanical engineer in Huntsville’s space industry to the maker of intricate custom-ordered musical instruments.

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(Travel writer Tom Adkinson’s book, 100 Things To Do in Nashville Before You Die, is available on

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