Located in the northern portion of the state, and giving way to the meandering Lamoille River,Hardwick is a diverse, rural community. Historically, Hardwick was known best for processing and exporting granite brought in from Woodbury. Today, the community is thriving once again, and encouraged residents are investing in the town’s future.
Hardwick has undergone a major transformation after two significant fires struck the downtown district over the last five years. The fires left several buildings in need of reconstruction, and a once thriving downtown looking abandoned. Today, Hardwick is coming alive again, with the revitalization of the Bemis Block and other buildings, bringing in new apartments and commercial space that is filling up fast with some eclectic businesses including, the Clip Joint, a salon. A couple of doors down you’ll find Old Friends, a store that specializes in vintage items. Hardwick’s downtown also has the Galaxy Bookshop, a craft shop, and the Buffalo Mountain Co-op.
Infrastructure upgrades have also been the focus of some of the downtown revitalization efforts. An upcoming project, and one of importance to the community, will be the restoration of an old water distribution system, which is the Town’s primary source of drinking water.
Residents of Hardwick maintain their livelihoods from a variety of employment opportunities, including working for food-related manufacturers and other commercial businesses, specialty food growers and farmers, and downtown business owners. The Vermont Milk Company and Vermont Soy also are based in Hardwick, producing specialty products that are commonly found in natural food stores across Vermont. The town is also anticipating two new businesses that, together, could provide up to thirty more jobs in the area.
A recent Town Plan update concluded that the community offers a variety of affordable housing opportunities. However, the Town has identified a need for more senior and assisted-living housing options, and is working with the Lamoille Housing Partnership to explore how to meet this need.
Hardwick is also turning its attention to its many recreational assets. The Lamoille River Trail will soon extend into Hardwick, adding to the existing 10K cross country ski and hiking trail networks. Additionally, the Lamoille River provides excellent fly fishing opportunities. Winter activities, including downhill skiing, are also offered nearby.
Hardwick’s revitalization shows how tragedy and opportunity can bring together people to invest in the heart of their community.