A challenge has been issued by a local business to raise funds to continue the rejuvenation of Swanton’s downtown area.
You-nique Bou-tique recently presented a check for $1,000 to the Swanton Historical Society to kick off fundraising to bring the Brailey Depot to town, and for the construction of a train viewing platform. The business donated a percentage of its sales.
You-nique Bou-tique was joined in initial support by its landlord, Justin Serr, who donated $750 towards the effort.
Both You-nique Bou-tique and Serr have challenged other local businesses to support this effort.
“We encourage other business owners to get creative and have fun, enrolling their employees, customers, and suppliers to support these efforts to bring more feet to Swanton’s Main Street,” said Julie Berry, boutique owner.
For the fledgling businesses on Main Street to thrive, pedestrian traffic is needed, and the creation of a visitor attraction could be an important step in that direction. Train and railroad enthusiasts are frequently seen along the tracks on Chestnut Street and Zeiter Way photographing the trains.
It is anticipated that the Depot and viewing platform on Chestnut Street would be a positive step in attracting visitors to Main Street.
Four retail shops are located on Main Street – You-nique Bou-tique, The Posh Pallet Boutique, Witchy Sisters, and Steals and Deals. The opening of Benfield Wines, Switchback Crossing Café at the former Elk’s building, and the anticipated opening of a bakery and coffee shop should provide a much-anticipated re-invigoration of Main Street.
Berry is a big proponent of that re-invigoration continuing.
“My personal desire is to see our historic downtown undergo a facade makeover to bring a cohesive elegance back to Main Street,” she said. “In addition, I’m intrigued with wall murals that invite personal photography for selfies, senior pictures, and other photo opportunities, bringing more visitors to our area. Because of Swanton’s train history and the proposed depot and viewing platform, the wall murals could be train-centric, adding more interest for train enthusiasts to visit Swanton.”
Swanton Historical Society President Neil Toeppe said he is supportive of the commitment of You-nique Bou-tique and Serr. He said Stapleton Insurance, the Walmart location in Wauseon, Bill Pilliod, and Patty and Company have already joined the fundraising effort.