Death in the Primrose Hotel Chapter2 cont’d

We drove into downtown Mossville and found the hotel. The town of Mossville, named after Phineas Moss, an Englishman who in the early 1800’s acquired three thousand acres of virgin Pennsylvania timberland and made his fortune in lumber. How Phineas actually acquired the acreage is still a deep, dark, well kept secret. The citizens of Mossville are proud that the the town square sits on the site of the original lumber camp and saw mill.
The Primrose Hotel stood prominently on the corner of North and West Streets facing the town square. The square had the required statue in the center of what I later found out the town’s people called a Doughboy, a WWI soldier with his soup bowl helmet on his head, his rifle at shoulder arms and standing guard on his tall gray-brown granite pedestal. Carved into the pedestal were the names of the town citizens who served in the war to end all wars with a special notation of the four citizens who made the ultimate sacrifice in that conflict.
We drove around the square taking in our surroundings. In addition to North Street, the square was bounded by streets apply named South, East and West. The Doughboy faced towards East Street and Europe beyond.
Mossville has seen its better day decades ago. The most of the stores around the square were boarded up with gray aged weathered plywood. Some of the sheets of plywood had been in the elements for so long that the plies were well in the process of delaminating and turned gray with age and weather. Gravity pulled the delaminated layers curling downward down over the plywood still in place.
Faded signs still told of the old ghosts stores. On West Street, faded signs for Martin’s Appliance Store, Thompson’s Furniture Store, an old Western Auto Store and many other signs that faded into unreadability. Not all the stores along the square were closed. A liquor store was the only occupied store on West Street. A small mom and pop convenience store, a hardware store and a video store on East Street were lit up and actually had customers. There were one or two other lit up stores around the square but the signs were unreadable. Lights blazed in several of the second and third floors apartments above some the closed stores and a silhouette of a short man passed in front of a second story window.

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