A long-time Wheeling business has slipped into history. Gerrero Music on Main Street closed its doors and auctioned off its merchandise in mid-May.
While their Pittsburgh branch is alive and well, the Wheeling building has already been purchased, to be reborn perhaps as a restaurant and luxury apartments.
Henry Gerrero, a concert violinist, was asked by a student to get him a violin. He caught a train to Pittsburgh, bought the child a violin for six dollars and sold it to him for $6.35.
Gerrero Music was born in 1923. At its height, there were nine stores and 150 employees, selling mainly pianos and organs. However, times have changed, and so have peoples buying habits.
“I think it’s a big thing with the schools, not having all the music programs that they used to have. I remember we had over 80 schools that we would sell band instruments to and when I was in school, we had 125 marching at Bridgeport High School. Now they have a smaller amount and it’s sad,” said Gerrero Music Vice President Jeff Kirk said.
Now the showroom is bare. The contents were auctioned off at bare bones prices.
However, if you want an organ or piano or want your existing one serviced, Gerrero and Kirk Classic Organs, their Pittsburgh store, is there for you.
“We’re in four states now. Our service man travels about 5,000 miles a month to service organs throughout our area,” said Kirk.
Still the loss of a long-time Downtown Wheeling business is sad.
“It’s sad to see them go,” said Tito’s Sloppy Doggs Owner Christopher Burress. “Anyone that’s been around for over 50 years in a business, it’s always bad to see them go but they’re moving on and hopefully something else can move in here and make Wheeling a little better.”
By the way, the first-ever digital Allen organ displayed in the Smithsonian came from Gerrero Music.