Employees in Front of Company Store, 1939

Residents depended upon the company store for the purchase of groceries, furniture, mining supplies, and other items. The store usually occupied the largest building in town and was often wood framed and painted white although in some towns the store was made of brick. In addition to its function as a store it also served as a gathering spot for neighbors to mingle and talk. Railroad tracks were located at the back of the store to enable easy unloading of newly ordered goods. Although there was little competition, McIntyre did have a number of privately owned stores patronized by residents. Residents in many company towns often complained to coal company agents or to union representatives that the prices at the company stores were too high. Until 1948 the Post Office was located in the Company Store. 

Photo: courtesy Maynard "Red" Amond collection.

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