JE Hitt Garage is celebrating 75 years in business and hosted a ribbon cutting event on Friday August 20 to mark the occasion. The ribbon cutting was organized by the Lewis County Chamber of Commerce. House Speaker Thomas Newbrough also presented Cortney Harris and Christian Hitt with their father’s businessman of the year award.
Tim Hitt was posthumously named Businessman of the Year in 2020. Hitt had owned and operated the JE Hitt Garage since 1992, although the company had been in business since 1946. During the open house of the House, held last year, Kevin Stalnaker said Hitt took customer service seriously because he knew his customers were like family.
“But Hitt’s reputation wasn’t just in auto repair. He was an excellent track racing car driver, tearing up the local racing scene for many years and racing throughout the South and Midwest, competing on the short track auto racing series circuit, ”Stalnaker told the guests, adding that Hitt had been inducted into the Elkins Engine. The Speedway Wall of Legends in 2019.
“… Those who really knew Tim Hitt would call him legend for much more personal reasons.” He was a trusted friend who would help a family member or friend with any project. Tim’s positive effect on Lewis County will last for generations. We’re all better because he was here, ”Stalnaker said.
Newbrough also acknowledged Hitt’s contributions to the Lewis County community during the ribbon cutting.
“We celebrate him for his work in expanding the garage, his work in the community and his role so important in the region. We miss him dearly and hope the family can accept this award on his behalf, ”said Newbrough.
JE Hitt Garage offers everything from bodywork and auto repairs, to auto detailing and towing. Founded by James E Hitt or “Red”, it started out as a salvage yard where you could find used parts for your automobile. Eventually, Red’s son, James E “Jim” Hitt, took over the business and expanded it, with the addition of a machine shop in 1992. Timothy “Tim” Hitt succeeded Jim and made of the company what it is today. It upgraded the body shop to include a state-of-the-art paint booth, high-end alignment shop, and a recently opened full-service automotive retail shop.
“Now spanning four generations, we have two owners, Cortney Harris and David Harris. Cortney worked as a store manager in the past before working as an analyst for the FBI for almost 10 years before returning. David Harris worked for over 15 years as a registered nurse at Mon Health before making the sizeable leap into running a business. We thank them and the entire JE Hitt Garage family for continuing to serve their customers and our community, ”said Newbrough.
Lewis County Commission Chairman Rod Wyman read a proclamation in honor of the local business, and Weston Mayor Kim Harrison-Edwards praised the owners and staff for their continued commitment to their customers and the County of Lewis.
Harris thanked the chamber for hosting the event “at the last minute”.
“We have really big shoes to fill,” she said.
Newbrough concluded the ceremony by also thanking them for all the company has accomplished and contributed over the past 75 years.
We are so grateful to be here today to celebrate with all of you, and we are so grateful for all that JE Hitt Garage LLC has done for its customers, the business community, and our region as a whole. We celebrate this momentous occasion with you and wish you many years of success to come, ”he said.
A barbecue followed the ceremony.
JE Hitt’s Garage and Body Shop is located at 441 US Highway 19 North in Weston. It is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday. For more information on services, visit jehitt.com or call 304-269-2123.