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History of the Area Command

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 Celebrating 104 years in Charleston, WV

Captain and Mrs. Albert Figgins arrived in Charleston by train from Anniston, Alabama in November, 1904.  They soon rented a vacant store room at 17 Lovell Street (now Washington Street, E.) and established the Charleston Corps.

After the initial rocky years, former Governor William D. MacCorkle took notice of The Salvation Army's work and raised more than $35,000 to build the Army a larger building; in 1918 the building was completed.

The following year the first advisory board was organized and the Army's work grew in the city.  In 1948, F. W. Withrow bought the estate of the now late Governor MacCorkle ( now Sunrise Museum) and gave it to The Salvation Army in hopes that a maternity hospital could be established there.  But, because of zoning laws the project was later abandoned.  For the next two years the Army used the mansion for storage, and to house two staff members.

In the 1950's the Army was relocated at 301 Tennessee Avenue, the Charleston Salvation Army's present location.   Since establishing the AREA Command at Tennessee Avenue the Army has developed numerous community services, which include the Boys/Girls Club and Camp Happy Valley.

However, since November 1904, regardless of the location and project, The Salvation Army has been here in Charleston to serve God and man.


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