Community Spotlight: Guilford
Nestled in the Southeastern corner of the State is the quiet, scenic town of Guilford. Originally chartered in 1754 by Benning Wentworth, Governor of New Hampshire, the town was transformed from a wilderness into an agrarian community. While farming continues to play an important role in the local economy, many residents also commute to work in Brattleboro and other nearby cities.
Though small in size, Guilford has set big goals for revitalization in a Master Plan for Algiers Village, which received Village Center Designation in January 2006, through the State’s Downtown Program. They are working to restore the historic buildings in the village and to create housing and business opportunities.
Guilford is well on its way, thanks to the efforts of Friends of Algiers Village, Inc., which has purchased three parcels with buildings, two of which are in need of loving attention. The other is the Guilford Country Store, which contains two apartments on the second floor. Funds are currently being raised to renovate and re-open the Store to serve the local community. In the meantime, the property is the site for a local farmers market.
Guilford residents understand the importance of creating affordable housing within the Village district, and the Windham Housing Trust is working with the community and the Friends of Algiers Village, Inc. to create more opportunities for affordable homes. The Trust recently renovated the Tontine House into seven affordable apartments. Other revitalization efforts include the restoration of one of the one-room schoolhouses into a commercial space for a local surveying business in Algiers Village.
Guilford is a good example of a community, young and old, that has come together to make living and accessibility convenient for its residents.