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This store building at 126-128 Main Avenue, now a part of the Bennett Firestone complex, was constructed in 1895, following the late December 1894 fire that destroyed its only-13-month-old predecessor, a retail business structure with a 700-seat, electrically lighted theatre, the Bismarck, on its second floor. (The fire, well under way when first discovered, started in a next-door bakery.)



The owner-builder in each case was Frederick Brinkman, a Prussian army officer (hence, the former theatre’s name) before immigrating to the United States. Once in Weston, he engaged in several different retail businesses. He was the town’s mayor in 1882-83.

The current building is noteworthy for its cast iron facade, a popular style of storefront décor in the late 19th century that may be a product of the George L. Mesker Company of Evansville, Indiana, the nation’s foremost creator of such building exteriors.

Smith, E. C. (2010). History of lewis county, west virginia. Place of publication not identified: Nabu Press.

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Erico Cardelli