Granville Then & Now – Paving work continues in Granville area

By Erik Pekar, Town Historian

Paving season continues in the Granville area. A few streets in the village were milled last week; these are the first repaving projects in the village for 2021. Three streets have had sections milled on both sides: Morrison Avenue, from the west edge of South Maple Street to Church Street; South Maple Street, south of Potter Avenue; entirety of Rawson Avenue. Two more streets had a single lane milled for short distances: the south side of a section of Irving Avenue between Columbus and Quaker Streets, and the south side of part of Potter Avenue between Quaker and South Maple Streets. The milled sections will be repaved.

County Route 12A in Truthville was milled last week. A base layer was then paved. As with the milled streets in the village, the county road will be repaved. County Route 25, the continuation of Pine Street north to the Vermont state lane at that state’s Route 31, is planned to be repaved this summer as well.

Route 149 paving has progressed further. The final layers have been paved on most of the section from Smith’s Basin north to Route 4 in Kingsbury, excepting a short stretch to the immediate west of the bridge over the canal in Smith’s Basin. As of last Friday, no lane markings have been painted on any section of Route 149 between Route 40 in Hartford and Route 4 in Kingsbury.

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Progress is being made with the right-of-way clearance phase of the Church Street bridge replacement project. While early progress in late June made it appear that Verizon’s work would conclude soon, progress soon slowed. Last week, Verizon crews began to transfer connections to the new lines on the new poles. One old trunk line was removed. As of July 10, two lines remain crossing the bridge.

Hopefully, Verizon crews will continue working with the pace and progress they made last week. The Verizon utility lines crossing the Church Street bridge are the only utility lines that have yet to be cleared from crossing the bridge and are holding up the bridge replacement project.

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A lightning storm passed through the Granville area on the evening July 7, 1932. In Granville, the house of Charles Schermerhorn on Madison Avenue was struck by lightning. The bolt went through the roof, knocking off a piece of slate, and ended at a support beam between two bedrooms on the second floor. In the rooms, glass from picture frames and photo frames were shattered, and plaster was kicked from the lath. The top of the support beam was described as having been “shattered . . . into sticks the size of matches.” Luckily for the Schermerhorns, the lightning bolt did not start a house fire. Mrs. Schermerhorn and the family dog did not notice anything had happened until a neighbor told her that there was smoke coming from the house.

The same lightning storm also struck the cupola of the Middle Granville Union School. A fire was started in the cupola, and the Penrhyn Hose Company was called. It was hard to get to the cupola, and several boards had to be removed to get to the flames. The fire was put out, although with damage to the cupola.

The village board at its meeting of July 11, 1932, had two major issues before them. One was whether to continue having village assessment rolls and a board of assessors, or to use the town’s assessment rolls instead. There had been discussion for several years regarding how to properly equalize the property assessments. An attempt was made in 1931 by the board of assessors to equalize the village assessment rolls; there was an uproar of objections on grievance day. The matter was deferred to a special meeting on July 15. Another issue discussed at the meeting was that of illegal parking on the village streets, and particularly Main Street on Saturday nights.  Cars were parked double or even triple, resulting in traffic congestion and even a blocked street.