Located in the Mettawee River Valley, in the town of Pawlet, Vermont, approximately 3 miles north of Pawlet Village is an area commonly known as Butternut Bend. Named for the meandering “S” loop that was once populated with Butternut trees, the Mettawee River begins in the Green Mountains of Vermont, and flows for sixteen miles before entering the state of New York. After leaving the hills, the river flows through a picture perfect setting of New England dairy farms.
Back in the 1950s, the 19th century farmhouse here was kept as an inn called The Butternut, operating long before inns became a popular establishment. Around the corner or across the street, depending on who you talked to, was the Butternut Bend Store. The original store sold homemade ice cream when there was no electricity in North Pawlet at the time. It was said to have been in business as far back as 1936, when it was owned by Friend and Libby Richmond. They sold sandwiches, coffee, soda, and homemade ice cream, too. Rumors abound that gentlemen could sit in the back and enjoy a more potent drink during a time when Pawlet was a “dry town.”
In 1952, the store was sold to George and Leora Clark, who owned the store for the next forty years. It became a place for the community to gather for celebrations and town meetings or discussions about fish and game or politics. Community members would gather and sit on the Coke machine, the freezer, or upturned milk crates. The store had evolved to become a full service gas station and grocery that thrived until 1990. Another Butternut Bend Store was opened for a short time circa the late 1990s by Chriss Mars, who ran it as a deli, but the era of the Butternut Bend Store came to a close. However, the history of Butternut Bend lives on with the addition of the Butternut Bend Baking Co.