<strong>By Sarah Richardson <\/strong>\r\n\r\n[caption id="attachment_51057" align="alignleft" width="362"]<img class=" wp-image-51057" src="https:\/\/mountainmessenger.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/13\/2020\/09\/True-Value-today-scaled.jpg" alt="" width="362" height="272" \/> After 48 years of serving Lewisburg and the surrounding areas, True Value has announced their upcoming closure.[\/caption]\r\n\r\nAfter 48 years of business, True Value is closing their doors this October. A staple to the Greenbrier Valley, True Value has been providing hardware and other supplies to the area since the 1970s.\r\n\r\nWhile it\u2019s hard to imagine the True Value building housing anything else after nearly 50 years of operation, the location has an even deeper history with the area. Brian Dotson, the current owner, explained the building \u201cactually used to be a dairy, they sold milk and ice cream and things like that. At first he just sold paneling and a little bit of hardware, then they remodeled the store and took out all of the big freezers used by the dairy. That was pretty wild, you could see that the walls were all insulated with cork.\u201d\r\n\r\n[caption id="attachment_51058" align="alignright" width="179"]<img class=" wp-image-51058" src="https:\/\/mountainmessenger.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/13\/2020\/09\/True-value-KEN-scaled.jpg" alt="" width="179" height="400" \/> Ken \u201cKenny\u201d Dotson opened True Value in 1972, and it later shifted ownership to his son, Brian.[\/caption]\r\n\r\nDotson's father, Ken \u201cKenny\u201d Dotson, opened the store in Lewisburg in 1972 after being interested in business for most of his life. Brian now owns the store, as well as their equipment rental facility in Fairlea.\r\n\r\n\u201cMy dad grew up around Lewisburg on Stonehouse Road on his parent\u2019s farm,\u201d said Brian. \u201cHe would tell me these stories from when he was logging on the farm and then selling the logs. He would also go down south and get fruit and bring it back to sell it. He always liked business and sales. He went to the Greenbrier Military School for two years, then West Virginia University for two years and got a business degree. He then joined the Air Force until we moved back to Greenbrier County in 1968. He did excavating and built houses for a while, and then decided to open up a hardware store.\u201d\r\n\r\nAfter they first opened, Brian said they sold a lot of lumber, and the front of the building was designed for customers to easily come and pick up their materials.\r\n\r\n[caption id="attachment_51064" align="alignleft" width="394"]<img class=" wp-image-51064" src="https:\/\/mountainmessenger.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/13\/2020\/09\/True-value-train-tracks-scaled.jpg" alt="" width="394" height="483" \/> These train tracks are running through what is currently the True Value parking lot- spot the peak of the old Bank building on the right hand side of the photo. Undated.[\/caption]\r\n\r\n\u201cOn the right side of the building was a loading dock, eventually it was filled in with concrete and it became a drive through where customers could stop and get bags of concrete or lumber. Eventually that was closed in to make more room for hardware. Most of our lumber used to be down in Ronceverte next to the old bridge beside the train tracks.\u201d\r\n\r\nOver the years the store has carried a wide variety of hardware, equipment, building materials, and more. Their popularity led Kenny to open a number of other locations, including one in Ronceverte, White Sulphur Springs, Alderson, and Covington.\r\n\r\n\u201cI worked at the Lewisburg store when I was in high school, as well as in Ronceverte and over in our Covington store for a while,\u201d Brian said. \u201cAt one point we had the store in Lewisburg, a decorating center in what\u2019s now the Harmony Ridge Gallery building, and stores in Ronceverte and Covington. He later closed the one in Covington and opened locations in Alderson and White Sulphur Springs. There\u2019s been six locations, plus the rental place in Fairlea.\u201d\r\n\r\n[caption id="attachment_51070" align="alignright" width="350"]<img class="size-full wp-image-51070" src="https:\/\/mountainmessenger.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/13\/2020\/09\/MB.jpg" alt="" width="350" height="485" \/> Mary Burdette, employee of 37 years, stands with a copy of the store\u2019s Opening Day announcement flyer from 1972.[\/caption]\r\n\r\nWhile the store itself is an important piece of Lewisburg, the dedicated employees are even more so. Pat Morris, the current manager, has a deep family history with the store as her mother, father, and husband have all worked there. Both Mary Burdette and Jim Withrow have worked for True Value for 37 years, and are sad to see it close.\r\n\r\n\u201cTo be honest,\u201d Mary said, \u201cI\u2019ve worked at all the stores. White Sulphur, Lewisburg, Alderson, Ronceverte - it\u2019s taken a while for the news to really hit that we are closing. I\u2019ve enjoyed working with everyone, as well as the customers. I\u2019ve thoroughly enjoyed it here.\u201d\r\n\r\nJim added, \u201cIt\u2019s just, we\u2019ve been here a long time, and a lot of people say that they hate to see us go. I\u2019ve been here since 1987, and it\u2019s been fun being here.\u201d\r\n\r\nWhen asked about her tenure at the store, Mary answered, \u201cI could have retired 15 years ago, but I made a promise to Kenny to stay in the office.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cSince I\u2019ve started working here a whole lot has changed,\u201d she added, \u201cbut not the customers. It\u2019s been them, and now their kids coming here. We still have customers that drive over from White Sulphur and even Covington. It really hurts to see it close. We\u2019re gonna miss them.\u201d\r\n\r\nBrian specified that the closure was necessary due to market changes and other factors. \u201cWe just weren\u2019t doing that well, we were losing money,\u201d he said. \u201cIt was partly due to COVID-19, but this has been going on since before then. Things have changed a lot in 48 years. We have Wal-Mart, Lowes, Amazon - its way tougher. It\u2019s tough on everyone. Thank you to the community for supporting us for the last 48 years.\u201d\r\n\r\nTrue Value\u2019s last day of operation will be Thursday, Oct. 29. Until then, all paint is 50% off, and all other merchandise is 30% off.