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Barnes-Surface Motor Company and Virginia Inn

Barnes-Surface Motor Company and Virginia Inn

In 1911 Sidney Sheltman contracted with Morris Miller to construct a two story building for an automobile dealership at 4 W. Main Street in Christiansburg. The Barnes-Surface Motor Company sold and serviced Ford cars and tractors at this location on the town square. In the mid 1910s, an adjacent two story building was constructed for a hotel. A third story had been added to both buildings by the early 1920s.
The motor company building served as home to local Ford dealerships until it was sold to Rod, Ted, Bentley and Ford Lucas in 1944. The Lucas family opened and operated Farm Supply Center which sold and serviced International Harvester trucks and McCormick Farmall tractors. The ramps that were used to drive the cars and tractors to the second and third floors are still in place. In 1962, Bill and Barbara Aldridge purchased the building and opened a furniture store. Over the next 40 years, the furniture business was operated as Fashion House Furniture, The Furniture Market, and Willoughby’s.
The hotel operated under the names of Virginia Inn, Gilbert’s Virginia Inn, and Hotel Virginian until the late 1960s when the building was also purchased by Bill and Barbara Aldridge. They then expanded the furniture store into the hotel space. Several of the second and third floor hotel rooms still have the original doors, mirrors, sinks, door numbers, etc.
Today, the first floor of both buildings is occupied by Antiques on Main. The buildings were purchased from the Aldridge family in late 2010 by Bob and Annette Poff. Renovation work this summer included removing the paint from the brick, restoring the windows, and replacing the awnings. Interior renovations will depend on whether suitable tenants are found for the upper floors of the building.