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August 31. 2011 12:39AM

Small town heartbreak: New Boston, Weare lose landmarks

There are still towns in New Hampshire where the general store is more than just a place to stop and grab bread on the way home or a coffee on the way to work. It is the center of town life. New Boston and Weare are two such communities. Or they were until Monday, when their general stores were suddenly shuttered.

Opened in 1872, Dodge’s Store was the focal point of New Boston life for more than a century. On Monday, residents tried the door, but couldn’t get in. Many didn’t see the small sign noting that the store was closed and would not reopen. Up the road in Weare, a similar sign was posted on the Country 3 Corners store. It might not be as crucial to Weare as Dodge’s is to New Boston, but it has been an important and cherished part of town life.

The two old-time stores are owned by Mike Danziger, who also owns Mike’s Red Barn in Salem, which was closed as well. Kate Richards, manager of Country 3 Corners, told our correspondent Nancy Bean Foster that Danziger was facing bankruptcy.

Whatever Danziger’s troubles, it would be a cultural tragedy to lose Dodge’s and Country 3 Corners. Weare and New Boston would lose important chunks of their unique character were these small businesses never to reopen.

Residents who care about those two towns should not assume that someone else will come to the rescue. Those stores are too important. Sitting back and watching them die would allow a part of each community to die with them. Who will step up and keep that from happening?


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