Once known as the Eagle Cotton Mill, this outstanding complex was built by local builders Robert Rankin and James White in 1884 for the Eagle Cotton Company of Pittsburgh. The six acre river parcel contained the main four-story "mill" building, an adjunct office wing, a two-story "boiler" building, a three-story "cotton picker" and one "cotton separation" building.
The main building was designed at 150 lbs/sqft to support a 10,000 spindle mill together with the live load of the largest workforce in Madison at the time...
It didn't take pioneers voyaging down the Ohio River at the beginning of the nineteenth century long to discover the broad bottomlands of what was to become Madison. In 1809 the 700 acre hamlet, between the Belle Riviere and surrounding bluffs, was founded as a significant port town in the development of the Northwest and Indiana Territories. Woolen, flour and cotton mills as well as foundries soon flourished along the busy riverfront trade route. Architects, builders and businessmen constructed houses for residences and commerce alike. Steamboats landed at the many wharves dispensing multitudes of opportunity seekers in this new American environ. Whether it was professed or not, citizens invested in each other and ultimately prospered within a shared, mostly interdependent community.
The grinding factories with their inherent post industrial spewed waste have since vanished. What has remained is a well preserved Main Street district and village consisting of 2000 National Landmark historic buildings, rivaling the likes of Savanna and Charleston. Their legacies weave an unwavering story of a youthful country's industry and perseverance. Just as a woodworker has carefully sculpted a bowl from a maple burl, so has Madison been created by the two hundred years of imagination and works of its past and present creative inhabitants. The sole remaining industrial building on the waterfront is the former 1884 Eagle Cotton Mill. Built to withstand heavy use by man and machine, the timber, brick and limestone loft structure is poised for a renaissance of its own as a "green preservation" resort hotel replete with marina, gardens, restaurants, shopping, educational facilities and entertainment. These are the offerings of River Mill Resort.
The close proximity to cultural, historical, natural and recreational areas, together with a potential draw from 11.4 million residents within a 150 mile radius, touts historic Madison as a new hub of tourist and retirement activity. River Mill Resort has assumed an important role in reclaiming a part of the rich historic fabric that was Madison's vibrant riverfront. Our development echoes the same socially responsible investments that were Madison's building blocks. We hope it to be one of America's colorful and cherished landscapes for centuries to come.