EDITORIAL: 'Generations' a look back at our bedrock's beginnings

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In next week's Pilot-Tribune, you will notice a special section called “Generations.”

In our brand new Generations tab, we celebrate just some of the many long-time businesses that have stayed in the founder's family. It's an historical look at the early days of a few of Washington County's institutions and a look back at how some navigated difficult times and changing environments to continue to serve today.

But what it also is is a reminder of how small towns such as ours are built on families and their businesses. You'll notice in these stories how founders returned home or moved to the county with the intentions to continue the family business. In many cases, they expanded offerings or physical spaces and even grew the business outside of town. With the growth and continuation came new jobs and more people.

Additionally, these stories mention how the family members involved in the business install a culture of love for the community. They serve on local boards and civic organizations and contribute time, talent and financial resources to charities.

Whether through their business offerings or work throughout the community, multi-generational companies help establish a certain culture and way of life. The next generation that assumes the role left by their parents or grandparents carries a duty to uphold the often positive reputation and dedication their predecessors had. That translates to another line of people willing to do what's necessary to support the business and the community.

It's important to remember, however, that these businesses had to start somewhere. Some started in a garage while others picked up the pieces of a different company after it folded. Many of these companies started as leaps of faith and no idea that it would survive for decades, much less do so in the same family.

Nothing says that a new business in town now won't become the next multi-generational establishment in 20 or so years. Maybe the stories seen in our Generations tab will inspire someone to do just that.

So wether you're a lifelong resident of Washington County or someone finding their way in the community, we encourage you to read about the people who helped shape the county as it stands today.

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