Editorial: Tumbling through the history of Kennedy Brothers

I’d like to tell you a story. It’s not too long, but it has an important point. And after all, we are a proud supporters of Vermont Reads this year, partnered with the Charlotte Library and the Senior Center, and we’ll be bringing you even more interesting local stories next issue. Here’s one to start us off. It’s a little disjointed due to tight deadlines, but I think you’ll like it. Lean in.

In February, I found an old postcard addressed to my dad. It was sent from Maine in September 2014, but the picture was of the Kennedy Brothers store in Charlotte. Perplexed, I thought Kennedy Brothers was in Vergennes.

When my brothers and I were kids, around the holidays we’d go to Kennedy Brothers in Vergennes to rifle through their wooden wares with a couple dollars of allowance money. I remember it well. The brick building seemed huge and the small shops spread throughout had such an amazing selection of do-dads to eat or play with.

After a little research, I found out that brothers Paul T. and John F. Kennedy (no relation I’m aware of to the late President

The Kennedy Brothers have supported The Charlotte News since we started in 1958. Dorothy Anguish, café manager at the newly opened KB Café in the Kennedy Brothers, wears her Charlotte News hat everyday to work.

The Kennedy Brothers have supported The Charlotte News since we started in 1958. Dorothy Anguish, café manager at the newly opened KB Café in the Kennedy Brothers, wears her Charlotte News hat everyday to work.

Kennedy) originally started Green Mountain Wood Crafters on Old Route 7. They sold all manner of woodcraft (as the name might suggest) and other Vermonty things like cheese, honey, maple products and souvenirs.

A devastating fire took the building in 1941, but they rebuilt in the same spot, according to Lillian Kennedy, the current co-owner with her husband, Robert Feuerstein. It’s a little hazy here, but at some point Paul and John moved their operation to Bristol for a stint before finally landing in the “little city on the falls.”

The connection here is a couple weeks ago we had a fundraiser on Thompson’s Point, and Lillian, directly related to the founders of Kennedy Brothers, and Robert were there. Lillian’s family has spent summers out on the Point since only tents were there.

As Nancy Wood passed around copies of the first few issues of The News, Lillian noticed that the Kennedy Brothers was one of our first advertisers back in 1958 (see inset).

Because Kennedy Brothers will soon re-open after two years in reconstruction, Lillian thought it only prudent to advertise with us again (page 13) and continue our historical connection.

To make a long, tenuously connected story relatively short, all of the businesses in and around Charlotte help shape our community and build our collective history. Without local business advertising (see list below) and generous donations from locals (donors listed in next issue), The Charlotte News’s nonprofit mission wouldn’t be possible. We are proud to serve our community and hope you will share your support and patronize the local businesses found in our pages.

And tell them you saw it in The News!

For more about community business developments, be sure to dig into Brett’s article on page 1. There’s a lot to think about there. Let us know what you think in a letter to the editor.

—Alex Bunten

Editor in Chief

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