Freedom — July 30, 2009 — Freedom’s village store is back. Thanks to the efforts of local volunteers, the landmark building that sits above the town’s scenic waterfall is once again humming with the sound of people socializing over a morning coffee and muffin. Around the store, and available for sale, are baked goods, newspapers, preserves, antiques and local crafts.
For the time being, the store will be open on a Wednesday through Saturday schedule from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., but permits are in the works to expand to eight hours a day, five days a week.
The century-old building has a storied history as the heart of Freedom village life and has gone through a number of owners. Many long-time residents fondly remember Betty and George Nichols, who operated the building as a grocery store in the 1950s and 1960s. You could purchase some of the best cuts of meat in the area from their butcher shop, and you could fill your car with gas from the pumps in front of the store.
Later owners cut down on the groceries, added movie rentals and attracted a morning crowd with coffee and muffins that could be savored from tables on the back deck. In recent years, under the ownership of Pam and Barry Keith, the building featured an eclectic mix of retail goods downstairs and rented office space upstairs. While the retail store has been closed for several years, volunteers were able to reopen it quickly due to the Keiths’ meticulous care of the building.
Organizers of the reopening emphasize that in addition to customers they need help from people willing to donate time, money and items for sale. The people to contact for that purpose are Dick Many (603-539-1558 or email@example.com) and Chris Gill, at the post office or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The reopening of the store coincides with the start of Freedom Old Home Week on Friday and the annual parade through the village set for Saturday at 10 a.m.