The Golden Rule building is one of the last remnants of Belington’s economic boom. Completed in 1902, this local ‘landmark’ housed the Shinn family’s Valley Grocery Company wholesale operation and later the Golden Rule Company retail store. Though this is not the only family business associated with The Golden Rule, this turn-of-the-century building includes a hydraulic elevator from the Warner Elevator Company, a family company out of Cincinnati, Ohio.
Warren Warner was considered a pioneer in elevator manufacturing. In the mid-nineteenth century, his company built the first hydraulic elevator in the United States. After Warren passed away in 1891, the company remained in the family. His grandson, C.H.M. Atkins took over the Warner Elevator Company. By 1912, the Warner Elevator Company was the third largest producer of electric elevators in the country.
The elevator in The Golden Rule is little more than a palette-sized plate in a narrow three-story shaft. The whole system comprises of a large metal cylinder, iron pipes, cables, and pulleys. The iron pipe, connected to the city’s water source, fed into the cylinder causing the pulleys to turn and the platform to rise and fall. The major mechanical parts are still in the basement, however, it appears that several pipes are missing. The Belington Revitalization Committee hopes to get the elevator working again as part of the preservation and rehabilitation of the building.