[Guilford Slate, The Newsletter Of The Guilford Historical Society] -
Plans and hopes are that the Guilford Country Store in Algiers will reopen this fall. As this report is being written in August, much work has already been accomplished on the store and more work is still under way. The stores’ owner, the Friends Of Algiers Village Inc (FOAVI), has succeeded in having the 1817 Broad Brook House, which contains the store, placed on the National Register of Historic Places. This recognition, along with other historic preservation covenants on the property, insures that the building’s appearance and historic features will be kept in perpetuity. The building now joins Christ Church and the Tontine House, who are similarly recognized, in helping to maintain the historic appearance of the Village.
Of interest to all is what will the reopened store be like? Answer: bigger, brighter, user friendly, and containing a Cafe area. This is being accomplished by removing the paint that blocked the Route 5 windows and replacing two windows facing the Woodcock Clinic that were clapboarded over an unknown number of decades ago. Paul Gardener of Brattleboro, who redid the Society’s 1837 Meeting house plaster and windows, has redone the old sashes. The Cafe area with tables and chairs will be located in this bright, sunny area. Regretfully, the chimney in that area with its Rumford fireplaces proved unstable and had to be removed in its entirety. The bricks were saved and a preservation mason used them to construct a faux fire place with the historic mantle reinstalled surrounding it. Beaded ceiling boards were saved and are being installed over the Cafe section. Oak for flooring has been donated by the Allard Lumber Company and Kerber Farms & Mill donated their services to saw it to size. A full commercial kitchen is being installed and new energy efficient coolers and freezers have been purchased. Much of the kitchen equipment was donated by the Preservation Trust of Vermont from a store in Starksboro, VT and more was purchased from Brattleboro’s former Adagio Restaurant and also from the old Brattleboro CO-OP. FOAVI volunteers are doing the finish painting and other chores. The search for operators to lease and run the store has not yet been completed.
As we in the Historical Society know, rehabbing old historic buildings often requires unanticipated repairs. The Guilford Store has proved to be no exception. The FOAVI is now mounting another fund drive to “finish the job.” Tax deductible donations may be made to this IRS 501(c)(3) organization, FOAVI, 638 Coolidge Highway, Guilford, VT 05301. Additional information may be obtained from Eric Morse at 254-8477 or Fred Humphrey at 257-7306 or by going to the store’s web site, guilfordvermontcountrystore.com.