The White River Valley has lost one of its most popular roadside attractions.
Eaton's Sugar House in Royalton was destroyed by fire Thursday night. No injuries were reported, but Vermont State Police say the blaze was suspicious, and that someone earlier in the evening set fire to the front steps of the building with gasoline.
Royalton selectboard member Tim Driesbach says Eaton's was a well-known tourist attraction and was immensely popular with locals.
“Ninety percent of the people in there are local people,” Driesbach said. “It is a place where the communities, plural, of all the surrounding towns, go to congregate. Lot of working meetings there, breakfast meetings there, senior citizens. It's a real gathering spot for all around the town and the different communities in the nearby area.”
Dreisbach says Eaton’s also employed many local people at a restaurant and gift store.