Granby Massachusetts, 1890

Granby lies a little east of the middle on the south side of Hampshire County; and is bounded on the north by Hadley and Amherst, east by Belchertown, south by Ludlow and Chicopee, and west by South Hadley, on the Connecticut River. Its nearest railroad stations are at Belchertown (New London and Northern and Massachusetts Central railroads) on the east, and Chicopee Falls, Willimansett, Holyoke Village and Mount Tom, stations of the Connecticut River Railroad, westward.

The town is about six miles square, equal to something over 23,000 acres; but the assessed area is only 15,591 acres, There are 5,493 acres of forest, consisting of maple, white and yellow birch, chestnut, elm, pine and hemlock. There is a large extent of nearly level upland and meadow varied by several elevations; as of Cold Hill in the northwest, then smaller ones, succeeded by Fox, Bagg and Turkey hills, running southeastward quite across the town. Extending east and west on the northern line is the long ridge known as Mount Holyoke, with Hilliard's Knob rising grandly, at the middle, to a height of 1,120 feet. A beautiful pond of about 200 acres lies at the eastern side, from which flows Bachelor's Brook westerly across the town to the Connecticut River, while Stony Brook drains the southern part of the town, discharging into the same river.

Both these streams furnish some power; which is made to drive a lumber mill and two small grain mills. There are also a small factory making machines for working butter and a Reed line shop. The products of these in the last census year amounted to $8,552. The farms number 141. The soil is strong and moist, and consists variously of" loam, gravel and sand. The number of neat cattle was 1,182, and of fruit trees, 4,935. The aggregate farm product was $196,357. The valuation in 1888 was $458,807, with a tax-rate of $11.60 on $1,000. The population was 729, and the number of dwelling-houses 172.

The town has primary and high schools, occupying eight buildings valued at about $5,000, to which is now to be added a tine building containing school rooms and a hall, the estimated cost being $8,000. There is a Congregationalist church here, built in 1820, with a tall spire, and in the good old style. A church was organized here in 1762, and the Rev. Simon Backus was ordained as pastor. His successor was the Rev. Benjamin Chapman, who was settled in 1790 and died in 1804. He was succeeded by the Rev. Elijah Gridley.

Near the original meeting-house was a large swamp, called by the aborigines Pitchawamuche, which has been contracted to "'Pitchawam;" and is supposed, says Dr. J. G. Holland, to be the only Indian name preserved in the town.

This town. was taken from South Hadley (of which it formed the second parish) and incorporated June 11, 1768. It is supposed to have been named for John, Marquis of Granby, and member of the British cabinet.

The town sent 113 men into the war for the Union, of whom 11 were lost. An eminent native of Granby was Hon. Homer Bartlett (1795-1873), a lawyer, manufacturer and legislator.

pp.338-339 in Nason and Varney's Massachusetts Gazetteer, 1890