Christmas Season at Anderson-Newcomb Co.


This vintage postcard offers a good view of the Anderson-Newcomb Co.
at Christmas time.  Its not postmarked so it can't be precisely
dated but appears to be from the 1960s.


HUNTINGTON  The Christmas season is here, a good time to take a look back at the
 Anderson-Newcomb Co., all decked out in its holiday door. A local
landmark, the Anderson-Newcomb department store was a
 mecca for Christmas shoppers for decades.

The store began in 1894 when J.W. Valentine opened a small dry goods
shop on 9th Street between 3rd and 4th avenues. The following
year saw W.H. Newcomb join the business, which
was christened Valentine & Newcomb.

In 1902, the two partners erected a three-story brick building on
 the south side of 3rd Avenue between 9th and 10th streets.
 In 1907, Valentine sold his interest in the store to E.G.
 Anderson, and the firm was renamed
 the Anderson-Newcomb Co.

A three-story annex was constructed in 1913, the first of many additions
 and alternations in the store's structure over the years. In 1920,
 three floors were added to the main building. In 1927, the
familiar marquee was placed across the store's front.
 In 1954, a two-story addition was constructed.

Over the years, Anderson-Newcomb recorded a long list of local "firsts" -
the first store in Huntington to have a horse-drawn delivery wagon,
 the first to trade its horse and wagon for a truck, the first to
 have a passenger elevator, the first to reward its
employees with paid vacations and the first
 to install a telephone switchboard.

An unusual fixture at the store was a pneumatic tube system
 that connected its sales clerks to a central cashier's office.

In 1970, the store was purchased by the Wheeling-based
Stone & Thomas chain but continued to operate under
the Anderson-Newcomb name until 1980.

In 1996, Stone & Thomas closed the long-time store. The building
then sat vacant and neglected until 2013 when it was purchased
by Marshall University. Saving it from likely demolition,
the university dramatically transformed it into
its handsome Visual Arts Center.


Note:  This Article and picture appeared in the Herald-Dispatch Newspaper on Dec. 24, 2018.


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