April 1st 1973, this is the day Pathfinder of West Virginia LTD was born. Nearly 43 years later we are still here and we are proud to say we are West Virginia’s Largest Independent Outdoor Retailer. That kind of timeline comes with a story. Here is ours…
Bruce Summers and Mia Sieminski moved from State College, PA in the early 1970’s to a small farm outside of Kingwood, WV, hatched the idea to open an outdoor retail store. The first store front was opened in 1973 on Willey Street in Morgantown, WV. They stocked the small location with equipment for hiking, rock climbing, backpacking, and kayaking. They prided themselves on being very knowledgeable about the products they sold. “We knew the stuff we were selling because we actually used it ourselves.”, Mia Sieminski commented in a local newspaper article.
After becoming a popular hangout for the local outdoor community in Morgantown Pathfinder began to outgrow there minuscule storefront. The moved a couple times in the following years to other locations on Willey Street in the near the Downtown Campus of West Virginia University. Finally, Pathfinder found its current location in the first floor of the Monongahela Building on High Street, the main street running through the downtown of Morgantown. The store has been operating 6 days a week at this location since 1993, over 20 years!
Bruce Summers and Mia Sieminski retired from daily operation of Pathfinder in 2005 when Gabriel Fitzwater took over as General Manager. The store continues to focus on a variety of outdoor recreation activities including Cycling, Snow Sports, Climbing, Hiking and Camping, Paddling, and Full Service Bicycle and Ski Repairs.