Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Minding the Store

Colebrook is a town of almost 33 square miles and about 1500 people. A large section of the Algonquin State Forest lies within its borders, and it feels even larger when you drive through it alone. You begin to wonder if it will ever end or if you'll be there, on a winding road in the Algonquin State Forest, for the rest of your days.

This is the Colebrook Store.  The story of the Colebrook Store is a typical one in Connecticut. Built in 1803, it expanded into the building above in 1812. (The original building remains, behind this one.) Over the years, ownership of the store changed hands many times. When it closed in 2007, the owner at the time wrote a "caustic article in the Winsted Journal blaming the town and in particular the town government for not supporting her store." While it lasted, it was the oldest continuously operating general store in the state; now it was just another empty historic building.

But then there was an unexpected plot twist. The Colebrook Store reopened in 2013. It's a functioning store again, selling, according to its Facebook page, the "largest selection of everything in town, except stamps."

Luckily the Post Office - like the Town Hall, the church, and the Historical Society - is right across the street.

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