It all began when my great-grandfather opened a general store called J.M. Alderson’s General Merchandise.
It was 1887, and his mission was to stock whatever his customers were looking for and give the best customer service he could provide. That started a tradition that my grandfather and then my mother continued so well over the years that the store is still in business 133 years later. And the fourth generation is determined to keep it going.
What is now known as Alderson’s Store is a family business that has reinvented itself time and time again to provide what its customers wanted. Today, it has come full circle to become a modern version of a general store by carrying a little bit of everything. It’s also the oldest business of its kind in West Virginia.
Just walking into the “new” circa 1932 building alone makes people say they feel like they’ve gone back in time.
The structure has been called a pristine example of Art Deco architecture by Art Deco Societies across the country. And the original showcases and fixtures are filled to the brim with treasures of all kinds.
Customers say they love how it looks like department stores once were in their prime. People drive by just to see how the large shop windows at the entrance are decorated each holiday. Once inside, they quickly discover such a wide variety of merchandise that it takes more than one walk around it and even more than one visit to see it all. We’re also constantly adding to our collections every day.
There’s always an eclectic mix of new and vintage accessories, jewelry, gifts, cards, home décor and more, including West Virginia and Alderson related items like t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, pottery, throws, puzzles, mugs, ornaments, and artwork that are exclusive to our store.
People love our large and constantly growing book section
People love our large and constantly growing book section with titles for all ages about West Virginia and/or by West Virginia authors. We also celebrate our roots with a large selection of vintage and rare West Virginia books, glass and collectibles of all kinds.
Of course, antiques and collectibles are the perfect fit for this already authentic vintage setting. So our collections have grown throughout the store to include a wide variety of furniture, clocks, trains, fans, telephones, typewriters, lamps, barware, glassware, bookends and art that spans various eras and styles – such as Mid-Century Modern, Art Deco, Victorian, and Art Nouveau. We’re always on the lookout for things that are out of the ordinary, and we try to help customers find whatever they’re looking for.
During the holidays, it becomes all the more intriguing and even a bit magical, because you never know what kind of unique gifts you’ll find. Looking for a handcrafted vintage sled, a lamp made out of a blowtorch, a vintage-style pedal car, bookends crafted from an old sewing machine, a railroad sign, or a train weather vane? It just might be at Alderson’s!
Alderson’s has actually become a destination in and of itself.
Plus, you can help give one of our West Virginia books to a local child for Christmas through our annual book drive. It’s become an annual holiday tradition for many of our customers and is more important than ever this year.
Alderson’s has actually become a destination in and of itself. With a large following on Facebook, people come from around the state, across the country and even “across the pond” to visit.
This local small business has seen a lot, survived a lot and even made history.
Like so many other small businesses, we’ve had a tough year. But our family before us navigated through two World Wars, the 1918 Flu Pandemic, the Great Depression, floods and other natural disasters, and economic ups and downs of all kinds. We feel like we owe it to them to keep going.
After being closed most of the year, we plan to be open every day from 10am to 4pm until the end of the year. Appointments are encouraged.
This local small business has seen a lot, survived a lot and even made history. We plan to continue doing that one season at a time.
– Sarah Alderson, Hashtag Lewisburg City Paper #129. December 2020.