Tucker County Bank
A center of business enterprises in Parsons from its earliest days, the Tucker County Bank was the first bank in the area. The three-story building built in 1903 displays elements of the Romanesque Revival style of architecture. Housing a variety of businesses and the local Freemasons for many years, the building was a social and economic hub. Currently owned by the Parsons Revitalization Organization, the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2010.
Backstory and Context
Built in the center of Parsons, WV from 1901-1903, the Tucker County Bank Building is a three-story commercial building constructed of red brick. The building stands on the corner of First and Walnut Streets in the commercial center of the town. The third floor of the building still retains the original pressed tin ceiling in the meeting room and many other features of the upper floors remain unchanged.
The Tucker County Bank opened in 1900 and was originally operating out of the county courthouse. Parsons was in the midst of an economic boom and the bank grew quickly. It was clear from the beginning that the bank would need its own property, and plans for the building began the following year. When the building was completed in 1903, the bank relocated and began doing business from this location. The property was home to the bank until they relocated in 1969.
In addition to holding the Tucker County Bank, at times the building hosted a Masonic Lodge, the Board of Education, a variety of businesses, and a drug store. The Freemasons occupied the third floor of the building from 1905 until 2002 and traces of the Masonic seal are still visible on an attic window. The building's drug store was popular for its soda fountain which was added to the store after being purchased for $200 in 1917. The drug store was a community hub as both a popular gathering place and a central bus stop.
When the bank began planning its move in 1966, the company searched for a new owner. The building was sold in 1967 to W. Del Roy and Doris E. Harner, two local lawyers. The property was sold for only $1, on the condition that the bank would not have to pay rent unless they had not relocated by 1969. From the 1970s onward, the building frequently changed hands; until, in 2006, the building was purchased by the Parsons Revitalization Organization. The group is working on restoring the building to its original design where possible and revitalizing the interior. The Tucker County Bank Building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2010.
The Tucker County Bank Building. Parsons Revitalization Organization. March 12, 2015. Accessed April 06, 2019. http://www.parsonsrevitalization.org/news/2015/3/12/the-tucker-county-bank-building.
Mills, Michael J. Tucker County Bank Building National Register of Historic Places Registration Form. WV Department of Arts, Culture, and History. Accessed April 06, 2019. http://www.wvculture.org/shpo/nr/pdf/tucker/10000579.pdf.