published Sunday, December 15th, 2013

Whatever happened to Crystal Springs Print Works? 106-year-old plant being sold after profitable year

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    Crystal Springs Print Works in Chickamauga, Ga., pictured in 1914 Photo: Chickamauga Public Library

Q. Whatever happened to Crystal Springs Print Works, the 106-year-old textile plant that closed in July?

A. After the textile finishing and printing plant in Chickamauga, Ga., officially shut down July 16, CEO Steve Tarvin set about wrapping up loose ends -- which takes awhile when you have 106 years of loose ends to wrap. Six months later, he's still shipping out the plant's final orders, and 16 people are still on payroll to handle essential tasks such as security and repairs.

The plant is close to being sold, Tarvin said. A deal could close in the next two months, and it's possible that the new owner could bring some vestige of the plant back to life.

"We'll close out the year, pay our taxes and end up being profitable this year," Tarvin said. "It's hard to believe we closed a business that will be profitable this year, but it's not profitable enough to stay in business. The rewards don't outweigh the risks."

As he retires from the textile business, Tarvin is jumping into politics. He's one of three candidates for the Georgia State House, District 2. The position became available when Jay Neal, R-Chickamauga, resigned in order to take an appointment from Gov. Nathan Deal. The special election to fill the spot will be Jan. 7 and will include parts of Catoosa, Walker and Whitfield counties.

This update was written by staff writer Shelly Bradbury. Contact her at 423-757-6525 or To suggest a topic for Whatever Happened To, email news@

about Shelly Bradbury...

Shelly Bradbury covers police and crime in Chattanooga and Hamilton County for the Times Free Press. She's been with the paper since 2012, working first as an intern and then as a business reporter. She is from Houghton, New York, and graduated from Huntington University in Huntington, Indiana, with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and minor in management. Before moving to Tennessee, Shelly previously interned with The Goshen News, The Sandusky Register and The Mint ...

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