I Remember…

The Town of Marlinton
Once Upon a Time

The year was 1956 when I first moved to West Virginia, so my memories are of that time forward.

Marlinton was a booming place then, but from the stories I hear, it was even more so in earlier years.

Look around at the older homes – large and stately. So many have maintained their beauty.

There were two “dry-goods” stores. The H&P was on the corner of Eighth Street and Second Avenue and the People’s Store was on the bank of the Greenbrier River along Rt. 219.

The H&P specialized mostly in shoes and clothing. Ed Stemple was the manager.

The Peoples Store was owned by the Brill family, and it carried clothes, shoes, seeds in season, crockery and food, as well as feed for livestock.

The Men’s Shop and Lang’s Dress Shop were on Main Street, and they carried the “dressier” clothing.

Sorry, guys, no boots or jeans at Joe Ralston’s Men’s Shop.

You could order the cut and thickness of your meat at Curry’s Market and Home Products Market, better known as “Froggy’s.”
Back then, you could actually afford a good steak!

The Tastee Freeze on the corner of Ninth Street and Third Avenue was popular. I remember going to cakewalks in the parking lot.

French’s Diner is empty now, but many townspeople and visitors passed through its door.

The Alpine Theatre and Edna Kelly’s Hotel and Restaurant were busy.

Wish we had a theatre now for our young people.

Pat’s Beauty Shop was in business back then. It was located in the old First National Bank building where City National now stands. In the basement of that building was Toad Nottingham’s Shoe Shop.

Yes, people had their shoes resoled and repaired.

You could go to Raymond Shrader’s Five & Dime and really buy something for a nickel or dime.

Dale Curry and Bill Myers had pharmacies on Main Street. Dale’s also had a soda fountain, selling soft drinks, ice cream and grilled cheese sandwiches. Remember ice cream floats and cherry Cokes?

The A&P Store was also on Main Street. When you walked in the door, it smelled like freshly ground coffee – because they ground the coffee at the checkout counter.

There were several “beer joints” scattered around the area.

I wasn’t a customer, but I saw many of the customers come through the emergency room doors on Friday and Saturday nights.

There were two taxi services in town – Malcomb’s and Waugh’s.

I wish we had at least one now. I feel very fortunate to have friends and transportation from the Senior Center to help me with shopping and appointments.

Pocahontas Memorial Hospital had three floors and all of them were busy with surgeries, delivering babies and tending to an assortment of illnesses.

There was no elevator in the Old Bank of Marlinton building, so you had to climb the stairs to the second floor to the Nationwide Insurance Office, Dr. John Mallow’s dentist office – can you remember the chemical smell that filled the stairwell from that office?

Dr. T. D. McClure’s office was also on the second floor, where he could be found day or night – when he wasn’t fishing.

Dr. Pittman and Dr. Dilley had their offices in the clinic that stood next to the hospital.

The tannery on upper Second Avenue was a big employer at the time.

Friday and Saturday found Marlinton to be a busy place. You had to come out early if you wanted to get a good parking place.

I can still hear the sounds of laughter and the clink of pool balls, and smell the aroma of Bill Bob Meadows’ hot dogs and special chili sauce.

There was a lot of farming going on back then, and S. B. Wallace carried a wide variety of livestock supplies.
Arnold Weiford had his law office right next to the Western Auto store on the first block of Main Street. Gladys Waugh had a beauty shop there, as well.

I’m sure I’ve forgotten some of the businesses that were once a part of the town, but are now gone.

Put on your thinking cap, and see what you can remember.

more recommended stories