1928 - Alderson High School - 1968


Alderson's Store

The town of Alderson was settled in 1777 by John Alderson. 110 years later in 1887, his great, great grandson, John Marshall Alderson II, founded Alderson's store that sold most of the necessities of the day including patent medicines, glassware, lamps, piece goods, shoes, groceries, and railroad ties.

By the 1920s more businesses were opening in the area, the Federal Prison for Women came to town, more jobs were available, and Aldersons was selling more ladies' clothing than anything else. So when the old store burned down, they went entirely into ladies' apparel, bringing ready made garments from New York to Alderson.  Soon Alderson's  was no longer a typical country store - becoming more sophisticated and specialized - changing its personality entirely.

When the old store burned, Aldersons hardly skipped a beat.  They quickly rented another building until a new one could be built. Completed in 1932, the new building was designed by Walter Martens, a well known W. Va. architect who also designed the Governor's mansion in Charleston.

The exterior features an elegant facade of carved Indiana limestone.  Two large display windows in front frame the walnut backdrops, which are accented with full-length mirrors and small Art Deco light fixtures.

The Interior is highlighted by all original solid walnut fixtures manufactured by the Georgia Showcase Co. of Montgomery, Alabama. This company has supplied the interiors of many stores, offices and financial institutions that are now historic landmarks throughout the Southeast.

The walls are lined with walnut-faced shelves and dress racks.

Along the tops of these shelves and racks the walnut is enhanced with elegant raised Art Deco designs in pewter and black The same is repeated through out the store.  Vintage light fixtures hang from a 20 foot ceiling. Today, Alderson's interior is exactly as when it was built.

Some of Alderson's store Credentials

1. Listed in the National Register of Historical Places.

2. Mentioned in the magazine of
Historic Preservation.

3. Recognized by Art Deco Societies from around the country for its Art Deco Beauty...described as a "Deco Delight in West Virginia".

4. Featured in various local, regional and national publications for its architecture and history.

Reprinted from Alderson's Store brochure.

John Marshall Alderson III - He carried on the Family tradition.

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