Beckley, WV chain grocery/supermarket locations, 1929-1960
What is there to say about Beckley? Well, it's one of the bigger cities of West Virginia (though with a population of less than 20000, it's hardly big). Its population peaked in 1980, three decades after the state as a whole. Its economy is far too dependent on dirty energy. It was once home to Beckley College, which changed its name twice and lost its accreditation in 2012. It's over-retailed relative to its size, with three shopping malls that competed side-by-side in the 1980s and 1990s. And, it offers a brief but compelling grocery history.
Kroger, A&P, and Piggly Wiggly operated in Beckley throughout the three-decade period covered in the spreadsheet. Kroger still operates there today, while A&P withdrew from the area in 1981. Mick or Mack made a brief appearance in Beckley (and other southern West Virginia towns and cities, including my hometown of 1000) in the 1940s, but they didn't last long. Acme Markets of Virginia entered the market in the 1950s, and remained there until the chain imploded in 2002. And really, that's it: As far as I know, Food Lion, Save-a-Lot, and Wal-Mart Supercenter are the only other big grocers that have stepped foot in Beckley during the last 60 years.
Putting the table together, though, was a challenge. A major address numbering change in 1940 is partly to blame. A newspaper article from the day explained how the new system worked:
As I mused in the "Unusual and unlocatable Kroger" thread, however, Beckley's name and number game didn't end in 1940. Meador Drive, a major thoroughfare, was renamed Valley Drive by the 1950s and then renamed Robert C. Byrd Drive in the 1990s. Current addresses on this street have four digits, with no correlation to 1950-1960s addresses. The end result of all of this: Nearly half of the addresses in the table are approximations!The Beckley Register, 2/18/40 wrote:"Blocks would be numbered beginning at the Beckley Hotel with 100 and numbering in four directions to the city limits. Each street will designate a new block if the length of the block involved justifies space for an average number of houses."
Another one of Beckley's thoroughfares is named Eisenhower Drive. When I lived in the area, I assumed that it had been renamed in commemoration of Ike after 1969...but it turns out that the street had been named by 1948! And it was a newly-constructed bypass, so it never was called anything else.