Day 1 of the 20 day tour.
Welcome to the 18,00 sq ft Whipple Company Store and Museum Blogging tour.
you can ask questions as we move through the pictures and posts. Make your comments that may lead into other aspects of the tour.
So lets begin.
Climbing the steps to the large porch is where we will begin. The concrete steps are actually the second set of stairs updated sometime after the 1930's. The original stairs were wooden and were a fan type staircase with no hand rails what so ever. You will walk under a very large archway that was built to symbolize the diftmouth opening of a coal mine back in the 1890's.
The window off to the right at the top of the stairs was a scrip window back when the building operated as a company store for both Justus Collins 1893, and then The New River Company in 1907.
The coal miner could collect his scrip, or credit his account from this window without ever having to enter the store. We are finding the Coal Miner was not real fond of shopping in the company store. However the women found it a gathering and social place, where they could exchange events of the day, school news and family happenings.
The center doors was the entrance. The large window to the left was a display and showcase window. Although the glass has been replaced from the original the window, The window box remains close to original condition. This is where the Christmas toys would be on display after Thanksgiving, and sale items and specials would be in the early years.
There is a door to the far left of the porch . That is where our tour will start into the building. We will be entering the freight room on the concrete floor which was the only place the coal miners could enter to purchase coal mining equipment. The rule was to walk only on concrete surfaces. I am not real certain how long this practice was enforced but do have documentation up into the early 30's. Woman however were not allowed to enter this portion of the building. The miners had a superstition about woman seeing coal mining equipment back in those days. so the freight room remained off limits to woman. The freight room gave the workers access to the basement, the hand operated elevator, the grain room and the butcher shop icebox, as well as a door leading into the main portion of the company store.