In the background of this week’s photo from the 1970s is the former Pocahontas Supply Company store in Cass, WV. Known as the company store, it was built in 1902, two years after the town was founded by the West Virginia Pulp & Paper Co. for a sawmill. The store was one of the largest company stores in West Virginia. Inside, residents could buy everything from groceries to prescription drugs to a full bedroom suite.
Each day a clerk from the store visited houses in the town for grocery orders that were delivered by wagon. The town prospered, and by 1920 it had a population of 2,000. Production at the mill, however, declined over time, and it shut down on July 1, 1960. The company store’s inventory was purchased that same year by Greenbrier County merchants George Aide and Bill Deegans. They liquidated, and the store was closed permanently. It and other abandoned buildings in the town deteriorated. With financial assistance from the federal Appalachian Regional Commission, the State of West Virginia bought much of Cass in 1976, including the company store, for a state park.
Photo: Courtesy of the WVU West Virginia & Regional History Center.
Sources: Mountain State Railroad & Logging Association, National Register of History Places Inventory Form, Beckley Post-Herald.