An estimated 2,200 tons of asbestos are buried in a mound behind the five-acre former Carolina Asbestos Company in downtown Davidson. It’s the leftover byproduct of the company that made shingles, automotive brake linings and other asbestos products from 1930 to about 1970.
While the factory was up and running, sometimes asbestos floated in the air into surrounding yards. Over the years, it also ran onto neighborhood streets and into a stream downhill from the factory. And some was moved around town intentionally — carried from the mill to fill in people’s yards and driveways. Longtime resident Marvin Brandon knows that firsthand.
“They could go over and get the asbestos, put it in the trunk of the car, bring it home, spread it out on their driveways and crush it up, just break it up, or drive over it to break it up. Because I remember my dad doing it several times,” Brandon said.
Asbestos also may have been used to help fill in what’s now the town-owned Roosevelt Wilson Park, off Griffith Street. Sections of the park these days are surrounded by orange fencing and warning signs while the town awaits an EPA cleanup.
Photo Credit: David Boraks/WFAE