SWANTON — Hometown boy Gordon Winters and his wife Debbie have purchased a site in downtown Swanton for the construction of a new Ace hardware store.
Swanton Lumber, the store founded by Gordon’s grandfather, will remain open. “Swanton Lumber is heavily contractor oriented,” said Gordon, while Ace serves residents doing work around their homes and gardens.
The Ace store will be in the Prouty building on the corner of Canada Street and Route 78.
“It’s always been an important location for Swanton,” said Debbie. “The building there is beautiful.”
The Prouty building was built in 1877, according to Swanton Historical Society President Ron Kilburn. It housed Prouty’s IGA Market operated by Charles Prouty of Swanton.
The Champlain Theater building next store building was built in 1909. It originally housed a hardware store on the first floor and a theater on the second. In 1917, the building was converted into the Champlain Theater, with seating for 400. In 1965, the Prouty family expanded its grocery store into the theater building, connecting the two, explained Kilburn.
The Winters are currently having the building’s soundness assessed by an engineer. “Our focus is on bringing back that old theater building to what it once was,” said Gordon.
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