OPELIKA, AL (WTVM) - As the blaze consumed the old West Point Pepperell Mill Tuesday night, it rekindled memories of days gone by for many people who worked there.
"I'm so sad to see it go because this mill has been the lively hood of so many people and it pretty much helped make this town and I'm really sad and sorry to see it go like this," says former employee Melvin Johnson.
Many gathered watch the biggest fire in Opelika's history.
This mill closed in 2008 and has been under demolition since 2011.
Although the mill has been vacant for many years, former workers felt the need to come to site to pay homage to a place that was the economic lifeblood of Opelika.
"I told my husband, I said I know there's nothing to see or do but I wanted to come down and see it before it was completely demolished," explains former employee Linda Daley.
The mill was a major part of many families lives, like Daley's, who is a lifelong resident of Opelika and former mill employee of 21 years.
"My uncle even worked down here at the time, so that's how long this place has been here, so it's deeply apart of our lives and out family," states Daley.
Daley is going to miss seeing this mill on her daily drive down, but has many mementos to remind her of those days.
"A lot of people that I worked with here have passed away and you know it brings back memories, but at least I got all my pictures that I took when I was here," Daley said. "I've got those to look at."