Cotton once reigned supreme in Augusta. S.M. Whitney Co. opened its doors in 1868 and in its heyday helped Augusta become the second-largest inland cotton market.
The company is expected to close its warehouse doors by next month.
The city was once home to a 200-member Cotton Exchange, whose members hailed from as far away as England, Germany, France, India and South America.
S.M. Whitney Co. was formed just after the Civil War by a descendant of cotton gin inventor Eli Whitney.
Its founder and namesake, S.M. Whitney, moved to Georgia from Connecticut in the mid-1800s and opened a bookstore in Elberton until the Civil War broke out and he joined the Confederate army.
After the war, Whitney came to Augusta and became a cotton factor -- helping farmers grow and transport their crop and selling the finished product to mills.