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NO. R-344. JOINT RESOLUTION CONGRATULATING THE WILLEY'S STORE IN GREENSBORO ON ITS CENTENNIAL ANNIVERSARY.

(J.R.S. 110)

Offered by: Senator Greenwood of Essex-Orleans County.

Whereas, the family-owned general store was once the common purveyor of Vermonters' groceries and other essential staples, and

Whereas, the development of supermarket franchises and large box stores has unfortunately prompted a precipitous decline in the number of family-owned general stores, and

Whereas, in 1900, Burton Madison Willey purchased the merchandise from Randall and Crane, the owners of a general store in the town of Greensboro, and several years later, he purchased the building which the prior owners had used as a general store, and

Whereas, in 1901, the family's continued proprietorship was assured when Burton's son, Robert A. Willey was born, and

Whereas, Robert A. Willey left many of the daily business decisions to his son-in-law Ernie, as he pursued a public service career as Greensboro Town Clerk, a post he held for 33 years, and as a member first of the House and later the Senate, and

Whereas, Ernie, who took only three brief vacations in 50 years, continued to manage the store, in partnership with his wife Phyllis Willey Hurst, until his death in 1998, and

Whereas, although Phyllis Willey Hurst is still a regular presence in the store, she has turned over direction of the business to the capable leadership of her sons Thomas and Robert, the fourth generation to lead the family's very special enterprise, and

Whereas, The Willey's Store carries a wide line of goods ranging from food, sporting goods and hardware supplies, and

Whereas, over the decades, the store has expanded, first incorporating the old Greensboro post office when Burton Willey became Greensboro's postmaster, and subsequently, the adjoining Cuthberthson General Store and the Cowley Building, and

Whereas, The Willey's Store is a favorite with the annual influx of summer residents to Caspian Lake, and

Whereas, the novelist Wallace Stegner brought fame and notoriety to the store in his novel depicting life in Greensboro, entitled "Crossing to Safety," and

Whereas, The Willey's Store is celebrating a century of serving the residents of Greensboro as a premier merchandiser that continues to be a store that serves a vital role in its community, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly congratulates The Willey's Store as it celebrates its centennial anniversary, and extends best wishes as the store commences a second century of merchandising excellence, and be it further

Resolved: That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to Phyllis Willey Hurst and Robert and Thomas Hurst at The Willey's Store in Greensboro.