Dan & Whits

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Dan & Whit’s, A General Store in Norwich, Vermont

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The History of Dan & Whit’s

There is a long history behind what is now Dan & Whit's which has made it a landmark in Norwich, Vermont and a general store that has been serving the community for more than 110 years. Below you will find quite a bit of information and photos from many years in the stores past. We hope that you'll find the history of the building and the people who have run the store interesting.

1891 - 1908

Mr. & Mrs. Arthur and Ada Merrill the store owners, Edward Olds the Postmaster, Sam Morrison who ran the harness shop in the building which is now the Norwich Grange Hall. Frank Blanchard who was the first U.S. Mail Carrier in the town of Norwich. Charles Ainsworth is seated in the chair on the porch and lived in a house next door to the store. The boy who is standing on the porch is Simenau and lived in what is now know as the Marion Cross House.

1932- 1972 1970’s 1970’s - 1994

This photo shows Dan Fraser on the left and Whit Hicks on the right and was taken in the early 1970's.  Whit Hicks died at the age of 80 on August 25th, 1987.

The stores copper roof was installed in the summer of 1988. New gas pumps were installed in April of 1989. January 1991 Dan and Whit's gets its first computer!

In January of 1992 Dan and Bun retired turning over the store to two of their sons George (who started in 1971) and Jack (who started in 1972).

August of 1994 Dan & Whit's starts accepting credit cards.

September 8th, 1994 Bunny Fraser died at the age of 79.

1995

Dan S. Fraser started work at the store in 1933, Whit Hicks started in 1932. This photo was taken in the late 1950's and shows from left to right: Whit Hicks, John "Pa" Fraser, Dan S. Fraser, Don Ballam and Jesse Stanley.

Dan and Whit bought the store in 1955 and the building in 1957 and had a partnership from 1955 until 1972. When the store changed ownership in 1955 Dan and Whit started selling beer and wine. Originally Dan and Whit's was run by Dan and Bunny Fraser and Whit and Grace Hicks, with their children coming in before and after school to help. 1963 the first addition was added which included the new checkout area, the meat department and the bottle return area. 1968 the second addition was added, which included the rooms that lead out to the grain room. 1972 the third addition was added with the last hardware room and the area that is behind the store's office.

This photo is of the store and staff from the 1970's with Pa Fraser seated in the chair front and center. Eliza "Bunny" S. Fraser (Dan's wife) began working at the store in 1956. Dan became sole owner in 1972, and Dan & Whit's became incorporated in January of 1973.

October 22nd, 1995 George and Jack, pictured at the right, are named as "Retail Grocers of the Year for 1996", and are seen receiving their award at a special ceremony in Burlington, VT.

February 23rd, 1998 Dan & Whit's is honored by Patrick Leahy; having been included in the Congressional Record of the United States Senate.

April 9th, 1998 Dan & Whit's is featured on the Good Morning America TV show.

2000-2007
  • Dan D. Fraser transitions from his position as a teacher to working exclusively at Dan & Whit’s
  • Linda Conrad retires after 39 years of service
  • Dan & Whit’s holds it’s first ever wine tasting
  • Valley Business Journal notes that Norwich is best known for it’s general store, Dan & Whit’s
  • 2007 Boston Magazine’s New Travel and life names Dan & Whit’s Best One-Stop Shop
  • Susie Fraser retires from Dan & Whit’s after more than a decade of service
2008 ~ Present Day
  • Oct. 26, 2009 Daniel S. Fraser, founder of Dan & Whit's passed away at the age of 96.
  • Feb 2010 Dan & Whit's noted in The Congressional Record for welcoming foreigners, such as the Von Moltke family into Norwich. 
  • Dec. 2010, Dan & Whit's begins monthly wine tastings, pairing with The Norwich Inn. Each month a different non-profit is the beneficiary of the a portion of the sales. Written up in Upper Valley Life Magazine (Feb 2011).
  • March 2011- Dan & Whit's installs 20 solar panels on the roof.
  • Sept. 17, 2011- Dan & Whit's is honored by Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin as serving as a community hub for over 55 years (and a general store on the site since 1891). Gov. Shumlin also establishes Sept. as "Country Store Month" signing the proclamation at Dan & Whit's. 2012- Dan & Whit's switches to self serve gas pumps.
  • Dec. 2013- The 19 Days of Norwich, 1% for the Haven - the original campaign.