Granville Then & Now – Of business and nor’easters

By Erik Pekar, Town Historian

Last week, Christmas on Main Street in 1958 was recounted. This week, let’s take a look back at the Christmas advertisements of Granville’s businesses of 1958.

The Granville Florists, Middle Granville: “Christmas Joy – May the bright Star of Christmas light your way and fill your house with happiness. It is (with) genuine joy we extend these greetings to friends here and everywhere.”

Scott Furniture, Granville: “Merry Christmas – May the love and adoration of the three Wise Men who came to Bethlehem, shine brightly in your heart, this Christmas.

The Granville Sentinel: “We’re headlining our greetings for a happy holiday season to wish all our friends health and good cheer at Christmas time!”

Lasher’s Pharmacy, Granville: “Greetings – in the tradition of an American Christmas we send you our sincere best wishes.”

S. Weinberg & Co., Granville: “Merry Christmas – We can’t call on you all so we take this means of sending our many friends a Christmas greeting.”

Fred Elwell, Granville: “Greetings – To our customers and our fellow businessmen we extend season greetings.”

Spike Adams, auctioneer: “Auction – Folks, this is no auction. Just want to thank all the ones we have had auctions for and all the buyers who follow our sales. We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year – Auctioneers: Mr. & Mrs. Spike Adams and Family.”

Some had short messages in their ads: “Greetings To All Our Friends,” Parker’s Dairy; “Christmas Greetings and Best Wishes,” White Rock Restaurant; “Merry Christmas, Good will to all men,” Beecher and Guthrie, “Merry Christmas – Peace be with you and yours this day,” Krause Garage; “Season’s Greetings To All Our Friends,” Red Jones Service Station.

Almost all the advertisements were accompanied by graphics of Christmas-themed imagery, such as candy canes, mistletoe, Santa Claus, or the three Wise Men.

The Middle Granville Dollar General store opened for business Dec. 14. The store’s hours are 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. It is located at 2039 County Route 23, on the north side of the road just west of the intersection with State Route 22.

The construction and setup of the store took about four and a half months, starting just after Primax Properties formally became owner of the property in late July and concluding with the opening last week. The fixtures and shelving were placed in the building over the week of Dec. 7, and the shelving was filled with products and wares.

This store will be operated in addition to the Dollar General in the village, which will stay open. The Middle Granville store does not sell clothing but has a much larger amount of coolers than the Granville Dollar General. Dollar General owns and operates both stores but does not own the buildings; the Middle Granville store’s building is owned by Primax Properties, and the Granville village store is in a strip mall building owned by Schuyler Companies.

Reception to this new store has been varied. Some feel that the store is convenient, and a nice addition. Others were divided between the opinion that “a store is a store”, which will bring growth to the Granville area, or that the Granville area didn’t need another dollar store.

Granville and the northeast received a wallop last week. The projection came two weeks ago that the Northeast would get a snowstorm. Many brushed it off as being yet another light snow that would hardly leave an impact.

Granville had twice avoided snow-covered grounds this fall. The first time was in late October, when snow fell overnight and melted by the next afternoon. The second time was earlier this month, when snow fell overnight into Dec. 9. The grounds stayed covered with snow through the day and melted away by the afternoon of Dec. 10.

Early projections for last week’s storm had Granville fall in a band of a dusting to three inches. As late as the day before, projections were still a low 3 to 6 inches. By the evening before the storm started, this had risen to roughly 6 to 10 inches.

The snowstorm arrived overnight, before 1:30 a.m. on Dec. 17. This was earlier than predictions made in the days prior. When it did arrive, it came as an old-fashioned nor’easter. The snow accumulated fast. By 3 a.m., there were already a few inches; by 7 a.m., many places in the area were nearing two feet of snow. The snowstorm did not move out of the area and let up here until around 1 p.m. By this time, Granville had well over two feet of snow. Estimates run from 30 to 36 inches, or two and a half to three feet of snow.

The highways and streets were in worse conditions than usual, as the snowstorm entered the area much earlier than originally anticipated. The snow totals, being over two feet, were also higher than the original predictions.

Cleanup of the snow in Granville did not start until Friday. To get the excess snow off Main Street, and clear the sidewalks, a loader and a dump truck had to be used. The Granville village DPW was still cleaning up Main Street over the weekend.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and yours this season.

Erik Pekar

Town Historian