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Preservation Champions: The Board Of The Elmore Community Trust, Elmore

Preservation Champions: The Board of the Elmore Community Trust, Elmore

The end of December 2021 will be a benchmark for Elmore.

Two and a half years ago, Warren and Kathy Miller, owners and operators of the Elmore Store for 38 years, began to think about what comes next for them. A handful of community members who recognized the value of the store gathered together and began to explore the future. PTV provided technical assistance and acted as a fiscal sponsor, and the Elmore Community Trust was born.

Opened more than a century ago, the Elmore Store is the hub of this small community located 30 minutes north of Montpelier. Serving residents and visitors alike with everything from local cheese to ice fishing worms to lottery tickets, it also houses a fully functioning post office, a micro branch for the Union Bank, and Fire Tower pizza. It is the site of the annual chicken barbeque fundraiser for the Fire Department and the annual Labor Day celebration. In 2021, a “gravel grinder” bike race drew participants from all over the northeast.

The Elmore Community Trust is made up of residents who have raised children in town, run local businesses, or grew up here, some coming to the store all their lives. “I see Elmore as the place where I’m going to live for the rest of my life,” says Blair Marvin, chair of the Elmore Community Trust. “Over the years as a community member, business owner, and parent, I’ve seen the value in having a general store here in town. I love being able to grab my milk and eggs and everything I need without having to leave town.”

Together, the Elmore Community Trust has formed a nonprofit, worked tirelessly through the pandemic to raise $346,000 to purchase the store, and have hired new operators who will begin around the first of the year, allowing Kathy to retire.

Blair is quick to share that every board member deserves equal credit. “The Elmore Store is the perfect confluence of community, collaboration and connection and that is what brings the whole board together. It is the main driver behind the formation of the Elmore Community Trust.”

The acquisition of the store by the Elmore Community Trust marks the end of one phase and the beginning of the next: preservation and renovation of the building. While a portion of the work will be funded by a Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grant, there is more fundraising to do to get the building ready to serve the community for another 100 years.

“I deeply believe in saving our working landscape, preserving our historic buildings and keeping our village centers vibrant,” says Blair. “By holding these pieces in mind and seeing the value in them, I believe that helps us maintain Vermont’s rural landscape and what it is that makes Vermont special.”

The board of directors of the Elmore Community Trust: Blair Marvin (president), Mark Isselhardt (vice president), Silene Deciucies (treasurer), Trevor Braun (secretary), Jon Osborne, Kate Sprague, Jill Lindenmeyr, Julie Bomengen, and Caleb Suddaby.

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