Fayetteville’s oldest retailer celebrates 65 years

FAYETTEVILLE, WV (WOAY) – On July 1, 1955, Louis and Elaine Rahall opened up Ben Franklin, and it’s been a Fayetteville staple ever since.

The arts and crafts store with a little bit of everything and the Rahall family were honored on Thursday night at the town council meeting for their 65-year anniversary.

Although Elaine’s son and daughter-in-law, Mike and Donna, now operate Ben Franklin, Elaine can still remember that first day opening the store up with her husband.

“We came to Fayetteville and there was a great, big crack in the front window of the store,” she laughed. “After a little bit we got used to the people in the small community and we’ve loved it here ever since. They have been faithful customers. People in Fayetteville have come to shop at our store or we wouldn’t be here 65 years.”

It is the oldest retailer and the second oldest business in town. The Rahall family extended their appreciation to the community for their ongoing success.

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Anna Saunders
Anna Saunders is a weekend reporter for WOAY. With a diploma from Princeton Senior High School and a mother from Fayette County, she is no stranger to the area. She received a degree in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and wanted to return home to start her career as a reporter.