Belington Bringing Department Store From The Past To The Future - WBOY - Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Belington Bringing Department Store From The Past To The Future

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The Golden Rule Department Store building has stood proudly on Crim Avenue in Belington since 1902. While the store may be closed down now, passers-by don't have to look hard to get a feel for all the goods and services it offered the Belington community while open.

"It started out as a wholesale grocer, and then in the twenties it started evolving more into a retail grocery. Then they started selling furniture, workmen's clothing, workmen's boots, just basically catering to the community and what their needs were," said Jeff Smith with the Woodlands Development Group.

The outside is impressive, but there's one feature inside the building that stands out as unique. While it was open, the Golden Rule had an elevator to help get goods between the building's three floors. But it gets its power from a very uncommon source.

"they have a water-powered elevator in this building. I've seen a hydraulic, and I've seen a steam-powered elevator, but I've never seen a water-powered elevator, and the machinery is really impressive," said Lynn Stasick with the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia.

Keeping buildings like the Golden Rule alive is important for many across the state, but even more so in Belington, a town that's already lost a good portion of its own history.

"In the case of Belington, they'd just had a terrible fire and lost a good part of some of their historic properties, and so at this point we'd love to save as many of the historic properties in Belington to interpret peoples lives and their past and their heritage," said Stasick.

The Golden Rule is far from history, though. Instead of demolishing it, the town wants to renovate the building, and take it into the future to put to good use so it can be a visible reminder of the town's past.

"It identifies the community and tells people that our town's history does matter. Buildings and structures are the tangible and visible stories," said Smith.

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