Community Trust Purchases Barnard General Store

Barnard — After a six-month fundraising effort, the Barnard Community Trust has bought the Barnard General Store.

The purchase price is $500,000, but at the closing on Thursday, the Trust paid just $300,000. The previous owner, William Twigg-Smith, took back a mortgage for $200,000 to be paid off in one year.

So far, the trust has raised about $470,000 to buy the property and reopen the store.

Its president, Rick Carbin, estimates that an additional $150,000 is needed to make the purchase price, cover other costs such as taxes, insurance and improvements, and establish a reserve fund to address “unforeseen needs.”

The store, which sold groceries and hot food, closed last May after being in business for 180 years. It was long considered a community gathering place, and the trust has received donations from more than 500 people in Barnard and beyond.

In a news release last week, Carbin called the purchase “a huge milestone” for the community.

“This is a testament of how people feel about the importance of the store to the character and heart of Barnard,” he said.

A Vermont couple has been tapped to manage the business, which is expected to reopen in April. For the time being, Carbin said, the store will continue to open for a few hours each morning to provide coffee and snacks by donation.

— Staff report