Granby turning 109 on Dec. 11
The Greater Granby Area Chamber of Commerce and Grand County Historical Association (GCHA) are partnering to invite the community to celebrate the founding of Granby on Dec. 11 at 475 East Agate Ave. anytime from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Granby Town Manager, Wally Baird, will be cutting the official birthday cake at 11:30. a.m.
GCHA Executive Director, Tim Nicklas, will display historic photographs. Author of the local history book, Around Granby, Penny Hamilton, will be dressed in historic 1905 costume, representing the year Granby was born 109 years ago.
Granby elementary second grade teachers, Erika Bailey, Melissa Hanson, and Chris Tinkum, will lead their “ready to learn” students to the historic building, now Visitor Center, which was built was back in 1919 when Charlie Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks were movie stars in silent films. Local history is an important part of Granby elementary curriculum.
In 1905, Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt was just taking office as president for his first full term, the U.S. Forest Service was founded, the Wright Flyer III stayed in the air a record-setting 39 minutes and Albert Einstein proposed his “Theory of Relativity.”
A pound of butter was 22 cents. Canned corn or “airtight” was five cents. A pound of flour cost three cents. Granby residents did not have central heating nor electric lights. The wood was chopped by hand to heat water and the cold and drafty buildings. Candles or kerosene lamps lighted the night.
Granby’s post office had already opened on Oct. 26, 1905. A first class stamp was two cents. Several businesses already existed. James Peak Hotel, built by Sarah and Charles Nuckolls, Chas Lake Blacksmith Shop and his Mint Saloon, David Gardner’s Saloon, Myra Washington’s Fish and Oyster House, and George Law and partner, H.M. Toohey, operated the new Granby Restaurant & Bakery. The Granby community church was used part-time as the school house. Jobs in railroading, logging, and ranching helped grow the Western town.
The local newspaper, The Grand County Advocate, moved its office to the main street. Editor, V.S. Wilson, become the first mayor of the new town. Real estate in the form of The Frontier Land & Investment Company named the town Granby to repay their railroad attorney, Granby Hillyer, for preparing and filling the legal papers required to found and plat a new town, which was destined to grow into a transportation and economic hub. In 1902, David Moffat announced he would build a railroad which would steam from Denver to Salt Lake City. When it finally arrived, Granby was more than ready to welcome the new “Iron Horse.”
The party hosts are eager to welcome the community to celebrate 109 years of “the heart of something Grand,” which is Granby. Stop by and share your memories of Granby as it grew. Learn more about the history through photographs from the GCHA archive of historic treasures.
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