United States

How rural communities are encouraging people to return to their roots

RIPTON, Vt. — With its potbellied stove, penny candy and vintage post-office boxes, walking into the Ripton Country Store is like entering a time warp. For 140 years, through World War I and World War II, the moon landing and the digital revolution, this quaint New England mercantile has stayed the same — a little red clapboard shop in a tiny town with just 600 people. For 42 of those years, Dick and Sue Collitt worked behind the counter, ensuring the store’s history and charm stayed alive. But last year they finally felt ready to retire, so they put the Ripton Country Store on the market, where it languished for months. Bill McKibben, a teacher at nearby Middlebury College, penned an op-ed for The New York Times, hoping to lur ...