Talk to Peacham resident Lorna
Quimby, she’ll tell you about an old
New England tradition people called
Retired farmers congregated at the village store,
played checkers, mulled over the news. Chewed soda
crackers and mulled over the gossip.
You could say that’s when the story of
Peacham Café begins.
For most of Peacham’s history, there have been stores
in town, there’ve been taverns. The village was a hub
Then population shrank. Cars were invented.
Big stores and restaurants opened in bigger towns.
Stores and restaurants closed in smaller towns,
like Peacham. In 2001, for instance, the popular
Bayley Hazen Store in South Peacham closed.
It was the last of its kind.
People asked, “What can we do?”
A group of residents responded. They linked with
the non-profit Peacham Community Housing, Inc.
(PCH). PCH was looking to expand its mission, to
include not just local housing, but services for seniors.
They began planning how to open a store and/or café
in town. Townspeople responded, voting over-
whelmingly to give the former, historic Town Office
building and adjacent barn (former Union Store)
to PCH – so the town would once again have a
restaurant or store.
The rest of the story, in a nutshell:
2006 Town of Peacham votes to give Peacham
Community Housing (PCH) an historic building in
town center for purpose of opening a store/gathering place.
2007 Preservation Trust of Vermont awards PCH a grant to do structural analysis of barn
(former store). Vermont Community Foundation awards grant for architectural plans.
2011 Preservation Trust of Vermont and Freeman Foundation commit $40,000 to renovate barn based on original 19th-century Union Store storefront. Legal Liability Corporation (LLC) comprised of Peacham residents (pictured at left) created to carry out renovation and open community-supported café/store.
2012 LLC develops business plan and searches for wastewater solution.
2013 Wastewater solution found. Neighbors Jean Clark and Kempton Farms agree to let PCH
use their land for a system.
2013 Fundraising begins. Local family donates $25,000 on condition that equal amount is raised from other local donors.
September 1, 2013 $101,000 raised toward $160,000 goal, enough to begin work. Permitting process begins.
Summer 2014 With your financial support, Peacham Café opened!
Our Fundraising Story
Watercolor rendering and photo of Lorna Quimby
courtesy of Robert Van Vranken.
LLC Group photo courtesy of Richard W. Brown.
In-Kind Contributions to the Café
Rusty Barber, architectural drawings
Richard Brown, photographer
Paul Bruhn, advisor
Mike Bruton, deed research
Jean Clark, property easement
Tony Cuda, restaurant consulting
Neal Gombas, construction advice
Craig Harrison, logo & website design
Karen Joyce, website planning
Patrick Kane, architect
Kempton Farms, property easement
Julie Lang, film script
Don Marsh, engineer
Tim McKay, woodworker
Pine Tree Gardens, site planning
Steve Pitkin, construction consultant
Diana & Jerry Senturia, many & varied contributions
Ed Shields, construction advice
Allen Thresher, Jr., excavating
Robert Van Vranken, artist & filmmaker
Also, many thanks to our Café neighbors for their forbearance as we proceed into the active construction phase:
Peacham Art Guild
Peacham Congregational Church
Jackie, Will & Chloe Kempton
Karen Stawiecki and Mark Moore
Nancy Bundgus and family
Our "Mugometer", somewhere along the line in our fundraising efforts.