Salmon Brook Historical Society

The Salmon Brook Historical Society maintains the Abijah Rowe house, the Weed-Enders house, the Cooley School and the Colton-Hayes Tobacco Barn & Museum, with many exhibits of 18th and 19th century life.

Abijah Rowe House

picture of the rowe house
Circa 1732

The Abijah Rowe House is the oldest structure left from the original Salmon Brook Settlement. It was probably built by Nehemiah Lee c 1732, sold in 1750 to his son-in-law Peter Rowe, and then to Peter's brother, Abijah Rowe, in 1753.The Rowe brothers were both blacksmiths, and may have made some of the hardware in the house.

After Rowe's death in 1812, his heirs sold the house to Elijah and Joseph Smith in 1813. It remained in the Smith family until 1903, when it was sold to Fred M. Colton. Mr. Colton's daughters, Mildred Colton Allison and Carolyn Colton Avery, presented the Rowe House to the Salmon Brook Historical Society in 1966.

The house has been restored to an early 1800's appearance. Much of the furniture was given by Mary Edwards (Bunce Collection) and is from early Granby. The paneling and corner cupboard in the south parlor are original to the house. The corner cupboard in the north parlor, with round headed treatment exemplifies early 19th century remodeling. The front door is an outstanding original feature of the house. Today, the house is a fine example of an early Granby lifestyle.

The second floor also houses a room with Victorian toys, from a wooden tricycle to an exquisite doll house, along with a charming collection of antique dolls.

Weed-Enders House

picture of weed-enders house
Circa 1790

Moses Weed built this small saltbox house in 1790 in the hills of West Granby, six miles to the west of its present location. The Weed family cleared and farmed the land. The farmhouse, after being owned by the Weeds, Lampsons, and Corrells, was sold in 1924 to John Enders, who used it as a hunting cabin.

After the Enders State Forest was established, the Weed-Enders House was leased to the Salmon Brook Historical Society and moved, in 1974, to 208 Salmon Brook Street.

The eighteenth century farmhouse was restored to its original condition, and has multiple uses. An elegant Victorian Parlor depicts, in cluttered splendor, a different view of the past. Visitors can look through a stereoptican or marvel at an Edison Phonograph.

In addition, the building houses a fine research and genealogical library, the curator's office, and the Society Museum Store, featuring Granby history books, maps, and other Granby memorabilia. The research and genealogical library is now located in the new Preservation Barn on site.

The Weed-Enders House is typical of the farm homes found nestled amid stone-walled fields in the rugged hills of Granby.

Cooley School House

picture of the cooley school house
Circa 1870

The Cooley School is the only remaining one-room schoolhouse in Granby which has not been renovated into a home or shop. It was built c.1870, on the corner of East Street and Cooley Road in North Granby. At that location, the school and woodshed were in Granby, while the outhouse was in Southwick, Massachusetts.

After 1948, when the one-room schools in Granby were closed, the original furniture was auctioned off. The blackboard, however, remained intact, with some of the last teacher's writing still on it.

In 1972, the school was given to the Salmon Brook Historical Society by Merrill Clark, whose mother had taught at the school. In 1980, the Society moved the school to its present location at 208 Salmon Brook Street.

A 19th century schoolroom has been recreated, with a wood stove, water bucket and dipper (shared by all), an 1855 Connecticut map, and the mandatory picture of George Washington, as well as books and desks once used in Granby District Schools.

Visiting school children once again sit at the much-used desks (complete with carved initials), open the readers and geography books, and write on the waiting slates.

Colton-Hayes Barn

Circa 1914

The large tobacco barn, built in 1914 by Fred M. Colton, was given to the Society by his daughters in 1976.

The Barn displays are a microcosm of Granby's past. A cabinet houses a fine exhibit of local Indian artifacts. A large collection of early quilting, spinning, and weaving tools includes a rare Connecticut spinning wheel, at which the spinster is seated! Another corner displays voting in Granby from ballot box to the town’s last voting machine.

An early Meeting House is recreated from many of Granby's early churches. Doors from the Episcopal church of 1790, Universalist Church pew, First Church organ, South Church hymn boards, West Granby Methodist Church pew doors, and a Swedish Bible from the early days of Pilgrim Congregational, welcome a black-clad mourner in a Shaker cloak.

The rest of the Barn shows Granby in the 1890 era. A Village Store is filled with an amazing variety of items. There is a dressmaker's shop, a shoemaker's shop, and a creamery. The kitchen features apple peeler and sausage stuffer, iron cookstove and ice box. A wash kitchen has an 1830 zinc bathtub with a wooden lid, a stove to heat the heavy flat irons, and a hand cranked washing machine.

The back half of the Barn has a variety of exhibits from Granby's rural heritage. There are farm tools and machinery, sleds and sleighs, a huge hoisting wheel, hay rakes and hay forks, carpenter tools, items used in cider mills, grist mills, blacksmithing, maple sugaring, hog slaughtering, bee keeping, harness making, ice cutting and a large tobacco section.

The new Preservation Barn has rotating exhibits, a Masonic corner, vintage quilt, the beautiful horse drawn, glass-sided Hayes hearse and much more.

A visit to the Salmon Brook Historical Society is a journey through the history of Granby.