In May 2008, a fire severely damaged the store, and brought its owner to sell the building. In September 2008, Putney Historical Society members voted to pursue ownership and reconstruction of the General Store.
On November 7, 2008, The Putney Historical Society purchased it! In a arduous and highly successful grant-seeking process over the past year, they gathered 67K from the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, 200K from the Vermont Community Development Block Grant Program, and 100K from Patrick Leahy and the Vermont Preservation Trust, through a Village Revitalization Grant. PHS received 10K from the Windham Foundation, and over 100K in community donations, the most impressive and valuable contribution of all.
When the roof trusses went up in January, it was a day of spontaneous celebration—children cheering on the school bus, people honking as they drove by.
But…. on Sunday November 1, 2009. In the terrible four-alarm fire, 120-140 EMS personnel came. They saved people, and nearby buildings. We are very grateful for their dedication and excellent work.The historic Putney General Store building was completely lost to fire.
This was a devastating blow to our community. Our people have come together to grieve, and to support each other. A candlelight vigil was held Nov. 6, 2009, with singing and tears.
Now, with strong and renewed support, we have rebuilt our store! Please come and visit the new Putney General Store – open for business.