The Myth and Reality of Country Life
Granby, Connecticut, 1680 - 1940
by Mark Williams


These words do not seem to fit the traditional view of a peaceful, rural village of yesterday - or do they? In the new history of Granby, Connecticut, author Mark Williams researched Granby's bucolic past and found a myth.

Peaceful, contented people do not cross an ocean to live in a wilderness. These early settlers had the courage and determination to leave security for the unknown. Their children and grandchildren pushed into the frontier with the same independent spirit. The men and women who created Granby, were contentious, stubborn, and sometimes, downright cantankerous.

Mark Williams has written a book that is accurate, scholarly and witty. It presents a broad view of the history of Granby in the context of the times, and takes Granby from the wilderness home of the Agawam and Massaco tribes to the brink of World War II. The book has maps of early land grants and many old photographs. Quotes from original Simsbury and Granby Town Meetings, lawsuits and Church meetings bring the past vividly to life. You will read letters from the western exodus, from young women at school, and from soldiers in many wars. There are diaries and journals telling the minutiae of life. You will meet reformers and cider brandy makers, people from "The Street," hillside farmers, and the immigrants, old and new. You will learn how events in the state, the nation and the world affected this insular border town.

History is not simply a catalog of abstract events. The fabric of a community is made up of its people, and throughout the book we are introduced to a fascinating cast of characters.

Mark Williams

Mark Williams is a native of Albany, New York and has lived in West Granby, Connecticut for 25 years. He has a B.A. from Yale, an M.A. from the University of Connecticut and has been a history teacher at Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, Connecticut since 1975.

As a member of the Salmon Brook Historical Society, he has taught a class in researching local history, initiated the publication of Collections of the Salmon Brook Historical Society featuring papers on Granby history, and edited and indexed the Society's bicentennial publication of Granby Town Records 1786 - 1853.

Mark is a National Register Consultant for the Connecticut Historical Commission, and a member of the Connecticut Coordinating Committee for the Promotion of History. He has created course materials for American and World History in Connecticut high schools, and researched the age and human history of over 30 early houses. In the early 1990s, at the request of the Salmon Brook Historical Society, Mark agreed to write a narrative history of Granby - a task he had planned to do in retirement. The result is a book that will define Granby history for generations to come.

Author: Carol Laun

This publication has stories about some of the Granby Holcombs. Stories gleaned from Old account books, newspaper clippings, faded letters, official documents, tiny scribbled diaries, and memorabilia. A Genealogy Page can be found at the end of the book.

Author: Carol Laun

A book featuring all of the smaller cemeteries in the town (not including the Granby Center Cemetery which has already been published).  Three of the cemeteries have disappeared completely and three are on private property and not accessible without permission.

Author: Carol Laun

This book contains burials in Granby Center Cemetery from 1740 to 1997. It includes all sections except the new C and D areas. You will find a map of the entire cemetery and of each section. Burials in the Granby Center Cemetery - Revised 2004 $40, has 12 pages of additions and corrections, more and clearer photos of selected gravestones and a plastic protective cover over the new blue cover - there are limited copies of the first edition available for the sale price of $20.

Authors: Eva Dewey and Helen Dean

Granby history published 1965. Each chapter covers a different aspect of Granby history, Early Settlement, Government, Roads, Schools, Churches, War, Industry, Cemeteries, Mail, Farmington Canal, Houses, Inns, Indians, and Genealogy.

A Brief History
1786 -1986
Authors: Mark Williams and Carol Laun

A chronological history of Granby, with selected quotes from historic local documents. Contents include 100 old Granby photographs.

1786 – 1853
Authors: Mark Williams, Carol Laun and Seth Holcomb

Volume I and II of Granby Town Records, put in chronological order and indexed, translated in the dialect and spelling of the day. Also includes genealogical index.

Authors: Carol Laun and artist Sally Markey

Booklet has artist's sketches and historical description of an exquisite quilt, now on permanent display in the Granby Town Hall. Color postcards and photos of quilt are also available.

Authors: Carol Laun and Gladys Godard

The history of the first public library in Granby; includes information on the Cossitt and Godard families and a history of North Granby.

Compiled by: Christine Hanauer and Members of the SBHS

This book includes a chapter of unusual historical receipts most with a Granby history well as a collection of modern recipes from SBHS members.

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