60-12th St. Wheeling, W. Va.


Submitted by Phyllis Dye Slater


Left - John Slater, owner.



Slater's Record Shoppe was opened in 1939 by two brothers, John and Albert Slater. It was most likely the first record shop in West Virginia and was started with only a couple hundred dollars. The brothers did not know much about business but learned on the job. John was a senior at Wheeling high school. He went only half day and opened the shop from noon until eleven o'clock. Al continued to work at the Continental bakery saying, the first day they took in $25.00 (which took almost a year) he would quit working at the bakery and devote his time to records.

The first shop was very small... Both men went off to WWII and the shop was run by their sisters until they returned. At that time, they decided to move up town to 12th Street, next to the McLure Hotel.

This was a real fun place for young people. They had listening booths and they seemed to be always in use. Kids stopped in on their lunch hour from school.

I started to work there the last of 1959 and I really enjoyed it. Albert had moved to Florida and only John remained. John and I were married and I worked for 21 years until we closed in 1980. So many people still come up to me and tell he how much they miss our record shop. But after the mall opened in St. Clairsville, the business houses in Wheeling started closing. My husband had a couple of heart attacks so we closed.