Cochran, Blair, and Potts, a staple to the Belton community and the oldest department store in the state of Texas, celebrated its 150th anniversary from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday evening with an array of generous accommodations.

Community members enjoyed food and drinks catered by Miller’s Barbecue and Bold Republic Brewery along with live music by Alexis McLaughlin and even free pictures with Santa.

“They’ve done such a great job putting this together,” Mandie Markell, long time Beltonian and fan of the store, said. “The celebration is simple but neat, so you can really appreciate it.”

According to Michael Potts, one of the store’s employees, that characterization is what has kept Cochran, Blair, and Potts thriving for a century and a half.

“We’ve had to adapt to the changing times, but it’s hard to beat a small-town store with a small-town feel,” Potts said.

Attendees offered their praise for that unique atmosphere.

“This very store is a great reminder of the history of Belton,” Donnie Bruins said. “I love places like this, and it’s great to see so many other people do as well.”

The store has been in business since 1869 and has seen multiple renovations over the course of its existence.

Potts praised the public for the store’s long-time success.

“The community’s been great, supporting us for the past 150 years,” Potts said. “On to 150 more.”