Granville Then & Now – In 1971, ‘garden apartments’ were planned

By Erik Pekar, Town Historian

An intriguing plan for housing was revealed in the Nov. 11, 1971 issue of the Sentinel. A group of local businessmen and property owners established a consortium called The Granville Town House, Inc., which planned to have a “garden apartment complex” off Mettowee Street, opposite the Indian River from Route 22.

The owners planned to build the buildings to the best taste and decor of the time. Ten buildings were planned. An idea was to name each building after a well-known slate quarry in the Granville area. The first building was designated the Penrhyn, and other names were being researched by Morris Rote-Rosen. Construction on the first building began the week of Nov. 4, with a groundbreaking ceremony that included local dignitaries such as Village Mayor David Owens, as well as others involved in the company. The apartments were being built by Construction Enterprises, owned by Ron Moss of Hudson Falls. A second building was also being constructed.

There were to be one and two bedroom apartments, fully electric with all appliances included and completely carpeted. Each building unit was to have six apartment, and a utility storage room with laundry machines, as well as room for the tenants’ bicycles and similar items.

James G. Sloman, vice president of The Granville Town Houses, Inc., stated to the Sentinel that “it is our intention to keep the standards of quality building and landscaping to become a fine part of the Granville scene. We have carefully thought out each of the facets of the prospect with our community in mind. We will be proud to be a part of Granville, and hope Granville will be proud of the town houses.”

The first two buildings were projected to be ready for occupancy in February of 1972. Ultimately, these two town houses were the only ones built and are still standing today.

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Changes are happening, and more are planned, at two area convenience stores of Stewart’s Shops. Construction on the new Stewart’s in Fair Haven, Vermont, began in early October. A replacement of this Stewart’s had been planned since early this year, and a public hearing had been held in the spring.

As part of the project, two buildings had to be removed: a house on Dutton Avenue north of the old store, and the “Red House” to the east on Capitol Hill. The original part of the latter structure had been built around 1787, and as such was one of the oldest surviving buildings in Fair Haven. While additions had been built to the Red House, and alterations made as advances were made in living, the house had some historic merit. Locals attempted to prevent the demolition of the house and considered moving the structure, but the cost was prohibitive on such a short notice. The society was allowed to examine the house with an architectural recorder and salvaged some items of that line. The Red House was demolished on Oct. 18.

The new Fair Haven Stewart’s opened Nov. 2 at 2:30 p.m. The old Stewart’s was demolished on Nov. 4. The old gas pumps will be removed and new pumps will be installed. The old store was known in the area for the difficulty in maneuvering a car out of the premises, especially after using the gas pumps. The new Fair Haven store and gas pumps, upon completion, will be easy to access from either street for those who frequent it.

Upgrades are also planned for the Poultney Stewart’s. This store will be added on in the rear from Main Street. This was also done with the stores in Hartford and Whitehall. The Poultney store in its present form is among the last of the small-format Stewart’s stores; the old Fair Haven store demolished last week was also of this format. The expansion will double the space of the present structure and allow for greater selection and a more modern layout.

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Today is Veterans Day, the annual day where Americans from towns small and cities large honor those who have served our country in the military, whether in times of war or conflict, or in peacetime. Granville has honored its own veterans every year, and in the form of monuments. This year, Granville has taken the next step and honored its veterans, as well as those who are serving the military, in the form of the Slate Valley Military and Honor Banner Project. Granville has joined the many towns across America and in this area that have such banners. Over the years, Granville residents have volunteered or answered the call to serve the American military. Granville does not forget. This Veterans Day, remember to thank a veteran.