The MountainMade Fine Art Gallery and Studio Art Classes are housed by the historic Buxton and Landstreet Building of Thomas, WV. Placing our MountainMade’s Artisan Gallery in this building brings the Buxton & Landstreet Building back to its mercantile roots and provides an ideal display setting for fine art.
Constructed in 1901, Buxton & Landstreet Building served as company store for the Davis Coal and Coke Company. Company employees were paid in script, which they spent in the company store.* Today, the MountainMade Gallery prefers you pay for fine art in legitimate US currency, but we may be willing to bargain.In its day, the building was considered the finest building in the county. Its size is approximately 27,000 square feet and features glazed bricks, ornamental tin ceilings, hardwood floors, graceful support columns and electric lights.
Besides a beautiful building, the Buxton and Landstreet Building also holds some mystery. The building is located across the street from the Davis Coal and Coke Administration Building. A local story has a tunnel running between the two buildings, and as legend has it, that’s how the mine workers’ script was returned to the Administrative Building. Although I’m not totally sold on the currency transportation uses for a tunnel and have never gotten to explore this said tunnel, based on the winters here in Thomas, I believe there is a high likelihood that this legend is true.
While its life as a store ended in 1953, thee B&L continued being used as a woodworking shop, a warehouse for a beer distributor, and a mini-mall, then sat empty for approximately ten years. From 1985-1997 the B&L was used as offices for Power Construction and Maintenance. The Vandalia Heritage Foundation purchased it in 2000 and restored the building to its current codition. The hardwood floors and tin ceilings are original, and the large windows bring in natural light which enhances the artisan products showcased. Also located in the B&L Building are MountainMade’s studios where classes are taught and artisans can work.
By its location in this restored and renovated building, MountainMade is helping to protect our environment. Instead of building a new building for our artisan displays, we are utilizing the embodied energy of this historic building. Please stop in and let us know what you think about the MountainMade Fine Art Gallery housed in Thomas’s Historic Buxton and Landstreet Building.
*If you want to learn more about Appalachian Coal Towns, you should check out this wonderful documentary: The Appalachians. It’s a three hour DVD that explores Appalachian coal culture, cultural roots, and music. Also, it includes an exclusive extended interview with the late Johnny Cash.