New Well Continues E.E. Lake Store Restoration
December 3, 2010
The dreams of Bluemonters for over a decade are beginning to be
realized with the October-November drilling of a well to supply
the E.E. Lake store.
Valley Drilling, which sank the well, tapped into a flow of 30
gallons per minute at 420 feet, ample for any foreseeable needs.
Now that the building has water, the remaining work on the new
"Welcome Center" can begin. These tasks include bathrooms,
a pump-and-haul waste system, heat and air conditioning, insulation,
and a handicapped-accessible entrance. It is hoped that all this
will be accomplished within a matter of months.
"Our target for opening the store is summer 2011,"
declared Henry Plaster, who has labored for more than a decade
on the Bluemont Citizens Association (BCA) E.E. Lake Store committee.
"Our plan is to have the store open primarily on weekends,
staffing it with volunteers."
Bluemont Citizen's Association is delighted to see this project
continue to move forward," said BCA president, Patti Pettit.
"This project comes closer to fruition as a result of the
commitment by our dedicated volunteers who have worked tirelessly
throughout the past decade. The E.E. Lake Store Welcome Center
will be a wonderful place to showcase the many offerings of western
Loudoun. As always, the BCA encourages interested neighbors to
step forward, give of your time, and volunteer within our community."
The BCA plans historic exhibits on the Civil War and Bluemont's
railroad era, with artifacts and slide shows. Some commercial
use is also contemplated, subject to county approval.
Over the years, BCA has obtained grants, matching funds, and
in-kind contributions for the project in excess of half a million
dollars. Most recently Blue Ridge Supervisor Jim Burton helped
obtain matching funds of $45,000.For years, the Lake Store operated
almost solely for the days of the annual Bluemont Fair, showing
off the historic post office fixtures that are still in place,
and providing a place to offer homemade treats, exhibit local
art works, and ? for many years ? displayed the Zalewski brothers'
Under the public-private partnership that has governed reconstruction
efforts for a decade or more, Loudoun County owns the well and
holds title to the Lake Store itself, while BCA manages the facility.
VDOT is involved as well, granting funds towards the reconstruction
effort with the understanding that the building will be used as
a transportation Welcome Center for western Loudoun County. The
architect in charge is Melissa Poole, Loudoun County Department
of Construction and Waste Management. Steve Torpy, Assistant Director
of Loudoun Parks and Recreation, is responsible for county efforts.
The site plan is ready, and a structural analysis of the building
is in process. Once the integrity of the building is established
and the structural requirements determined, the design will be
put out to construction companies for bidding. VDOT, as the guarantor
of restoration funds, must sign off on these steps.
The historic emporium, located in the heart of Bluemont at the
corner of Railroad Street and Snickersville Turnpike, was built
byEdward E. Lake about 1901. It closed in the early 1930s except
for the Post Office, which moved across the street in 1945. Randall
Osburn operated a store there for two years in the 1940s.