West Virginia State Museum Education

Discovery Room 10: The Company Store

Discovery Room 10



This is the perfect discovery room for a game of “I SPY”! Can you find the ice cream mix? The Pluto toy? The scrip? The kitchen sink? Well, perhaps THIS store doesn’t include a kitchen sink but it could. Check out the ice box -- No shopping for a month of groceries if this is your cold storage! You’ll learn the fascinating history, the positives and negatives, of the company stores that sprung up in mining towns around the state, how they were operated, and what they sold tell another chapter in the history of the lives of miners in the early boom days of coal mining.

And while it’s fun to be nostalgic about the merchandise on sale in the stores, you’ll come to realize that foods, household goods and other items that we take for granted today were not always easy to come by just a few decades ago.

Discovery Room 10

Video courtesy of West Virginia Public Broadcasting; Videographer/Editor: Janet Kunicki; Narrator: Beth Vorhees

Continue to Explore, or return to the preview homepage:

Discovery Room 1
1: An Ancient Land
Discovery Room 2
2: Prehistoric People
Discovery Room 3
3: Conflict and Settlement
Discovery Room 4
4: Frontier Life
Discovery Room 5
5: John Brown's Raid
Discovery Room 6
6: The War within a State
Discovery Room 7
7: The Case for Statehood
Discovery Room 8
8: The Big City
Discovery Room 9
9: The Family Farm
Discovery Room 10
10: The Company Store
Discovery Room 11
11: Changing Roles of Women
Discovery Room 12
12: Trains and Railroads
Discovery Room 13
13: Boats and Rivers
Discovery Room 14
14: Industrialization
Discovery Room 15
15: The Mining Life
Discovery Room 16
16: The State Capitol
Discovery Room 17
17: It's Not all Work
Discovery Room 18
18: The Great Depression
Discovery Room 19
19: The Mine Wars
Discovery Room 20
20: West Virginians at War
Discovery Room 21
21: Late 20th Century
Discovery Room 22
22: Celebrating West Virginia
Discovery Room 23
23: From Here to There
Discovery Room 24
24: Painting and Sculpture
Discovery Room 25
25: A Legacy of Craftsmanship
Discovery Room 26
26: Traditions of Music