J.C. Penney Building


 In 1917, two wood-frame, false-front structures occupied these two lots. In an old photograph, the Rupert Democrat newspaper was on the west lot, and the Roosevelt Saloon sat on the east. The saloon looked like it was taken from an old western movie. These two buildings were replaced by the current Huggins building, which J. C. Penney Company took over in 1920. Penney’s customers remember clerks placing their money in a wooden cup and screwing it into one of several small, two-wheeled overhead trolleys. The clerk then gave a vigorous yank on a rope with a wooden handle. The trolley zipped up to a mezzanine in the rear of the store. Within moments, the little trolley rolled back down the sloping cable with the customer’s receipt clipped under the cup, fluttering in the wind, and the change secured inside. The clerk unscrewed the cup and gave the customer her receipt and change. This system remained in use until Penney’s relocated in the early l970s. The building then became Taylor’s, a department store. The Bookstore moved into the building in the early 1980s.