WCS Logistics

Memories of 96 years in business at WCS Logistics

Sally Voth Aug 29, 2013

WINCHESTER — Winchester Cold Storage, in business since 1917, has a few interesting items of its own stowed away.

The rich history of the company — now called WCS Logistics — is on display throughout its headquarters at 605 N. Loudoun St.

Old manual typewriters, adding machines and apple crates are used in the office’s decor, as well as the exterior.

“When we replaced one of our oldest pieces of equipment in the engine room, we actually used the fly wheel [from it] out front as an anchor for our new sign,” general manager Brian Beazer said.

Sales/marketing/human resources manager Michelle Gordon and office manager Stacy Chandler showed items still up in the attic, including original ledgers for the company, which has its origins in apple storage.

The first entry on April 4, 1917, is a $500 cash deposit from former U.S. Sen. and apple grower Harry F. Byrd Sr., who Beazer called the principal founder of the company.

“We started off as [storers of] apples, and basically that’s all they did was apples,” he said.

In fact, WCS Logistics’ website, winchesterwarehouse.com, claims, “At times, we were reported to be the largest apple storage facility in the world!”

Old barrels, which had been made on site, and some wheeled carts are in the headquarters’ cavernous basement, where ice still clings to a brine pipe.

An old ice chest now holds audio/video equipment in the boardroom, which also features old photographs of the facility and its workers.

The photos got Chandler reminiscing. She said she’d heard that produce used to be sold from the building.

“My grandmother said she always used to come here and buy her fruit,” Chandler said.

— Contact Sally Voth at svoth@winchesterstar.com

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