Historic Markers Across Georgia



Cooper Pants Factory and the Gainesville Tornado



Marker ID: GHS 69-1
Location: Broad St. SW and Maple St., Gainsville, GA
County: Hall
Coordinates: N 34° 17.850    W 083° 49.626
  34.2975    -83.8271
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMW9WB
Cooper Pants Factory and the Gainesville Tornado Marker
Photo by Markerman



Text:

Cooper Pants Factory and the
Gainesville Tornado



On April 6, 1936, one of the nation's deadliest tornadoes struck Gainesville. The resulting collapse of the multi-story Cooper Pants Factory building, located on this site since c.1893, caused a devastating fire. Flames trapped over half the factory's 125 employees, primarily young women and girls. As many as 70 workers died in the fire- the largest single contributor to over 200 deaths associated with the tornado that day. In addition to local resources and donations, President Franklin Roosevelt quickly involved New Deal agencies in the city's recovery. Rebuilding of Gainesville focused on providing better paved streets and the construction of a new fire station, courthouse and city hall- forerunners of modern fire safety compliant structures. The tornado and Cooper Pants Factory fire also encouraged the adoption and enforcement of new building codes to minimize the risk of large-scale devastation.






2014.8 Sponsored by the Georgia Historical Society and the City of Gainesville 69-1



 

 

069-HS01