The first JC Penney store opened in Kemmerer Wyoming in 1902. The company grew into one of the largest retail chains in the nation.

For a time, JC Penney stores were considered "anchor stores" at shopping malls. Every mall in the nation, in seemed, had a Sears at one end and a Penneys at the other to attract costumers. Folks shopped the middle stores on the way back and forth between the two anchors.

May 15 2020, JCPenney files for bankruptcy.  The company was given until the end of July to create a plan that would satisfy its stores creditors. JCPenney made the deadline and survived without a liquidation. There are a few companies out there that are discussing buying out what is left of the chain.

Then the New York Post reported on a private equity that the was the winning bidder. But there would be a few changes - perhaps the most notable was that the Penney name would go away.

On Friday it was announced through the “JCPenney Disposition Portfolio,” that 142 leased locations along with 21 company-owned stores would be on the block for an auction, to be held in September.

On the list of those 21 company-owned stores is the one that no one wanted to see: The Kemmerer, Wyoming JCPenney.

People in the company call it the “Mother Store” or “Store Number 1.” Those names are found on company documents and signage. The location is not just a store, it is sort of a museum. For some it is a tourist destination.

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