Granville Then & Now – Telescope mural work resumes

By Erik Pekar, Town Historian

The water tower at Telescope Casual Furniture was repainted recently. The work began on June 14 and was finished June 29. The work was done by Pittsburg Tank and Tower. One noticeable change to the water tower is that the company name is now painted in a light gray, instead of orange. The repainting has given a refreshing new look to the Telescope water tower.

The second phase of the Telescope mural project has begun. Last year, Jordan Flower painted the first phase of the mural on two of the buildings facing Church Street. The first part was the “Welcome to Granville” facing those coming into Granville from Church Street. The following parts were scenes of Telescope’s history through the years, starting with Telescope coming to Granville in 1921, and ending with the 1950s.

The second phase starts where the first left off, and will show scenes of Telescope’s history from the 1960s through to the present. Jordan Flower painted the first part of the new mural section on June 23.

The first two buildings were remodeled last year to better allow for mural painting. The next building north was refurbished this spring to make the building more suited for painting. Another building was removed last month; the removal will allow for the mural to wrap around to the building facing the parking lot.

Jordan Flower’s work on these buildings is proof of his painting talent. The Telescope mural was commissioned by Kathy Juckett. The mural is an attractive sight for locals and travelers, and is already gaining much positive comment for Telescope and Granville alike.

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Poultney Bridge No. 4 has reopened. The Poultney Select Board announced on July 3 that the bridge is now open to all traffic. The bridge is on Route 31; the road is named Grove Street north of the bridge, and South Street to the south.

The bridge repairs were done by Renaud Bros., starting on June 28 and finishing on June 30, and the bridge was inspected by bridge technicians from the Vermont Agency of Transportation. The select board had announced on June 30 that the state was working on the load rating assessment, and the town was awaiting the weight limit determined from said assessment and authorization to reopen the bridge. Since the bridge is open to all traffic, the state evidently concluded that a weight limit was not necessary.

The bridge was closed on June 1 after inspections found a few cracks in the structure. The Poultney Select Board worked to arrange for the bridge to be repaired. The bridge was ultimately closed for only 32 days, and itsreopening is welcomed by all in Poultney and surrounding areas.

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The heat and humidity early last week was unbearable for many in the Granville area. The people of the area in 1931 also experienced high heat at the start of July. The temperatures for June 27 to July 1, 1931 registered 96, 80, 87, 93, and 98. It was noted in the July 3, 1931 Sentinel that July 1’s temperature “was the hottest July 1st in this village for many years.”

The effect of the heat was worse in the Midwest, but it made an impact in this area as well. Macadam road surfaces became soft, and loose enough to stick to tires. There were reports that “in places not far from Granville automobiles have dug up chunks of the roadway.” The county hired men to fill in these holes with sand from the side of the road.

The village board meeting of June 29, 1931 was held in the village rooms in the Odd Fellows Hall on Main Street. One major issue addressed at the meeting was the status of Rawson Avenue. Village clerk Morris Rote-Rosen presented a blueprint of the right of way, obtained from the county clerk’s office. Rote-Rosen said the street was recorded in the deeds as “Rawson or South Avenue” and that the map called for a width of 34 feet on the east end and 27 feet and 7 inches at Quaker Street. There had been discussion for a few years regarding Rawson Avenue, the street width, and whether it had ever been accepted as a street by the village. After seeing the materials presented by clerk Rote-Rosen, the village board decided to go ahead with taking over Rawson Avenue. The efforts were initiated by a request by Rawson Avenue property owners. The street commissioner was directed to measure the land in accordance with the map, in preparation for constructing the street and sidewalks for public purposes.

The highway from Salem to the state line at Rupert was completed in June of 1931. The highway was built of crushed stone and bituminous material. The previous gravel road worked, but wore with heavy traffic. The benefit of the paving material used was noted to be its resistance to forming holes compared to gravel, with reduced cost compared to macadam or concrete. The writer also noted that “the drive from West Pawlet south to Salem is much more picturesque than down the state road from Granville. In passing through the villages of Rupert and West Rupert the monotony is broken and the farming land and homes in this valley are beautiful.” The crushed stone and bituminous material used on the road in 1931 would be inadequate to handle the higher frequency traffic and heavier vehicles on highways today.