Granville Then & Now – Christmas lighting? See village, town of Granville

By Erik Pekar, Town Historian

The Christmas trees were placed on Granville’s Main Street last Saturday, Nov. 28. Twenty evergreens were installed up and down Main Street between North Street and the rail trail crossing. The team of volunteers worked for several hours placing the trees at the holding poles and attaching the lights to the trees. The work to install the poles that will keep the trees standing upright was done within the past two weeks. While the weather was frigid this time last year when trees were being placed and fixed up, the weather cooperated well this year; the temperature was in the high 40s or low 50s for much of the day. The work was finished that afternoon, and the trees’ lights turned on for the first time that evening.

With the lighting of the Main Street Christmas trees, Granville’s light installations and displays for the holidays are practically finished. Most of them are already on. The building decorative lights on Main Street and on many other business buildings throughout the village have been turned on.

The lights of the Slate Valley Museum and the Pember Library and Museum have been turned on, as well as those of the new elevator addition. The lights are on at the Main Street and Church Street bridges, the Rail Trail bridge, and the walkway bridge connecting Granville’s two museums.

The lights on the fence along Church Street at the Granville High School property have been turned on, as well as those marking the walkway from the rail trail bridge to the walkway bridge. The stand-up fixtures have been placed at the small green on Main Street, and on the front lawn of the high school.

The lights on most of the trees in Veterans Memorial Park haven’t been turned on, as well as the installations on the triangle property at the corner of West Main and Quaker Streets. The exception is the large tree near the tree line separating the park from the Pember House property. That tree was lit up in blue last Wednesday, to honor the area’s first responders.

The remaining lights at and around Veterans Memorial Park will be turned on this Dec. 4. In normal years this would be the date of the annual tree lighting ceremony. This year, there will be no ceremony. There will still be light shows in the park from 5 to 10 p.m. on the hour, coordinated to music that can be heard by tuning a radio to 89.3 FM. The music system has been upgraded so that the signal of the low power FM transmitter can be received, and music heard, in much of the village.

As such, one will be able to drive through the village to see the holiday decorations on buildings and listen to Christmas music while doing so. The ceremony has practically been replaced for this year by a drive-by sightseeing of decorations.

All the holiday light decorations were installed by a group of volunteers. The funds for the lighting came from the Christmas light fund, to which you can donate. No taxpayer money was used to finance the installation of any of the lights.

Besides the village’s annual Christmas light installations are collectively the largest group of decorations in the area, there are other Christmas lights that have been put up or will be going up. Several houses already have their lights up and on. These decorated houses are scattered throughout the town of Granville, and can be seen in the village, Middle Granville, North Granville and elsewhere.

In Middle Granville, houses aren’t the only buildings being decorated. One business there, The Farmstand at Red Top Dairy, has decorative lights as well. This business’s decorative outline lights are one of the few, if not the only, businesses in the town to have such lights. The farmstand sits on the grounds of the dairy, which is the farm owned by Kenny Thomas. This is the same farm known to long-time residents of the area, and especially Middle Granville, as the Thomas Johnson farm. The farmstand and farm are on County Route 24, next to the garage of the Granville Town Highway Department.

Those who wish to see Christmas lights should take a drive throughout the town and village of Granville. When Granville gets in the Christmas holiday spirit for lighting and decorations, Granville does not disappoint.

The progress at the future Middle Granville Dollar General reached another milestone last week. The Dollar General signs were placed on the building Nov. 24 and with them banners saying “Coming Soon” and “Now Hiring.” The building and parking lot are complete. The ground sign at the entrance has not been installed, nor has the landscaping been completed. The interior of the building is finished with construction, but there are no store fixtures or shelving. No opening date has been announced, but their commitment to opening the store can be seen. The signs appear more likely that the Middle Granville Dollar General will be operated as a new store, in addition to the already existing Dollar General store in the Village of Granville.

Erik Pekar

Town Historian