At first glance, our small town hasn’t changed much over the years.
The big white houses still sit firmly on Main Street, Greg the barber still uses his shop window to send out birthday wishes to residents, and the morning coffee crowd still gathers at the Village Store to solve world – and town – issues.
I’ve only been here twenty years now – a relative new-comer – but even I can see that things are beginning to look a bit different, at least on Main Street.
The two small houses that sit in village center, and once used as real estate offices, may only be around a bit longer. They’re too difficult to bring up to code, and once sold, will likely be torn down.
On a positive note, someone has purchased the old run-down house that sits next to Gazebo Park. It’s at least as old as its neighbor from the 1800s. Heroic measures are at play to restore it, and I can’t wait to see the final result.
Nearby, the old Town Grange, unused for years now that we’re down to only one farm in town, has been transformed into a private home. Word is that the inside is like something out of Architectural Digest.
Rice’s Fruit Farm was owned by Jesse Rice’s family for 100 years.
Four years ago, Jesse died at age 91 and the long-time farm stand – really a market – closed. It re-opened to great success under new ownership, and now is the hang-out for those of us looking for a cup of tea and a turnover in the afternoon. Then that crowd clears out for the arrival of the after-school high school kids, and the evening is full of families looking for home-made ice cream after their soccer games.
Bennett’s turkey farm is long-gone, still missed each year as Thanksgiving approaches. On the plus side, those of us voting at the elementary school are no longer bowled over by the scent of turkey manure wafting over from the nearby corn field.
And the drug store/gift shop has changed hands.
The big concern is that there’s talk it will offer Keno, a numbers lottery. As I understand it, people choose a number and then hang around at tables waiting for it to come up. That, plus the fact that this proprietor sells cigarettes and adult magazines at his other store has triggered a fair amount of discussion across the street at the Village Store.