THE LITTLE TOWN THAT COULD

2008-09 Business Management Class

The day was April 25, 1962, with 90-degree temperatures and 25 mile an hour winds when a fire blew through Rutland, leaving the town of Rutland bare, with little economy. That would all change for the little town of Rutland. A convenience store would re-establish a business in the Rutland community and virtually provide a service to the all the patrons in the Lake County area.

The idea was to open a student-run convenience store. After many years of planning, the project would be approved on November 14th, 1997. The Rutland School board bought into the idea that the Rambler Stop would help teach students how to run a business, as well as providing basic necessities for local people, and anyone that came to town. Grants and donations were received in order to implement this project. The Annenberg Rural Challenge Grant was awarded to Rutland School with hope of reviving its rural economy.

To make way for the Rambler Stop, the twin elevators, which some called Rutland’s “Twin Towers” would be cleared. On November 23rd of 1997, the elevators were burned to the ground and the land cleared for the future Rambler Stop. Construction started in June of 1998. The Rambler Stop was built with lots of hard work and a generous supply of caring. The staff, students, and community members took an active role in making this dream happen both for the school and the community. These individuals helped run cement, put up the walls and roof, put down the flooring, install plumbing and electrical hook ups, and completed all the finishing work. This just shows what kind of community Rutland is: a community that believes when you pull together you can accomplish almost anything, even things that others think impossible. There was an open house held on October 4th, 1998 to celebrate the Grand Opening of the Rambler Stop.

The Rambler Stop is a community coffee spot. You can stop in almost any morning between 6:30 and 10:00 am and visit with some of the town regulars. You’d have an opportunity to find out how the crops are doing, how much rain they got around Rutland or how the game last night ended up. Many folks stop by to get that convenient cup of coffee to go. You can even get cappuccino or hot chocolate at The Rambler Stop along with basic necessities without their having to drive out of town. Self-serve gasoline, diesel, milk, bread, and ice are available right here in Rutland.

After school the Rambler Stop becomes a hot spot. The athletes stop by for a quick jump-start treat before practice, while others going home just stop by for a quick snack.

Since the opening of the Rambler Stop, improvements have been made to the store, which include a security system, self serve diesel pumps, a new floor and a picnic pavilion.

Ten years later the Rambler Stop dream is still the same. Teach our children about business in a real setting, give our students job opportunities in the area, and give our town and community a convenience store.

So if you’re living in the area, or just passing through, stop in and give us a try.

Thanks to everyone for making our “Building of Dreams“ come true.