Woodland Mills plant vandalized

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, September 30, 2014


By Claire Sachse


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Sometime between Sept. 20 and 24, the former Woodland Mills building on Hwy. 108 adjacent to Polk County Middle School in Mill Spring was vandalized.

Vandals entered the building, which was not secured, broke exterior and interior windows, destroyed fire extinguishers, lit several small fires, smashed equipment, pulled apart a water fountain, and ransacked offices, dumping contents of file drawers on floors and outside the building.

Nothing was stolen, according to Jerry Thomas, president of Daystar Enterprises, Inc. However, he said the damages total between $20,000 and $25,000. According to Thomas, he has a lease with a contract to purchase the property.


Thomas and Det. Sgt. Randall Hodge of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, said they believe the vandals used golf clubs to destroy dozens of windows as gold clubs were found lying in the broken glass. The windshield and tire of a transport truck on the property were also destroyed.

Thomas is offering a $1,000 award for the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible.

“Somebody knows who they are,” said Thomas in reference to the vandals.

“This is the second time this year the property has been vandalized,” said Thomas. “I will pursue restitution. I will see that this is prosecuted to the max that the law will do.”

Hodge said that there was not “a whole lot to go on” but that he believes it was kids who vandalized the property, and from footprint evidence, said that it was at least four individuals.

Thomas said that he plans to ask the county to close driveway access to the former mill. A pond that is county property is on one side of the access driveway, and his property is on the other. Joggers and fishermen could still access the pond from the middle school side, according to Thomas.

Thomas said that he is working on plans with investors for the 42-acre property, and plans to release more information in 2015. The textile plant operated as Woodland Mills from 2000 to 2010, and as Stonecutter dating back to 1965.