Granville Then & Now – Granville readies its lights, tractor parade

By Erik Pekar, Town Historian

The Granville Lighted Tractor Parade is returning this year after a year’s absence. The event is being organized by Art Moyer and Paul Garrone. The event is scheduled to be held on Dec. 10, at 6 p.m. Forms for the tractor parade are available at the Granville Town Hall and the Granville Post Office, both on Main Street, the Granville Village offices on Quaker Street, and the Telescope offices on Church Street, but all must be submitted at the village offices; registration can also be done online. Entries cost $10, and the deadline is Dec. 6. Admittance of floats on the day of parade starts at 4 p.m., and no floats will be allowed in after 5:30 p.m. The prizes will be decided by a panel of judges, and will be cash, totaling $300 in total between all the prizes. Any entry money beyond this $300 will be donated to the Granville Area Food Pantry.

The parade route is planned to start at the Telescope parking lot, go south on lower Church Street to the traffic light at the corner of Routes 22 and 149, then proceed north along Route 149 and Quaker Street, then east along West Main Street and Main Street. At the present time, the parade is planned to then go up North Street and end at the former Manchester Wood factory parking lot. If the Church Street bridge opens before the date of the parade, it is likely that the route will be changed to return along Church Street to the Telescope parking lot.

The lighted tractor parade was popular in the first three years it was held. It is sure to be popular again this year.

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The annual Christmas tree lighting event will be held in the Village of Granville on Dec. 3. Sponsored by the Granville Area Chamber of Commerce, this year’s event has the theme of “Frosty and Friends Come to Granville”. A parade, on a smaller scale, will take Santa, Frosty the Snowman, and others to Veterans Park, where the festivities will be held. Spectators will be allowed; last year the event was held, and the trees were turned on, but no spectators were formally allowed to congregate due to restrictions that were in place at the time.

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Granville was gearing up for a major change on Main Street in late November of 1956. Crews from NYSEG were installing concrete bases in the street, to accommodate the forthcoming introduction of fluorescent illuminated street lighting. This was billed as being the “New Look” for Main Street.

Another “new look” was being noticed in the Granville area, and across America as well. Automobile manufacturer Chrysler Corporation introduced a styling overhaul for all their makes for the 1957 model year, termed the “Forward Look.” The Dodge advertising invited the potential car-buyer to “step into the wonderful world of autodynamics,” to get a “swept-wing” Dodge with an engine of sufficient horsepower to “unleash a hurricane of power”. The Plymouth ads emphasized the great improvement in styling and features, hyperbolically stating that the car’s design was “three full years ahead” and “suddenly, it’s 1960” when one had a ’57 Plymouth. Both lines’ advertisements noted the “Torsion-Aire” feature allowing for smooth rides, total contact brakes, and the pushbutton automatic “TorqueFlite” transmission.

Granville could see this look firsthand as well, as there was a Dodge-Plymouth dealership in the village, on North Street. The Mettowee Garage, then owned by Howard Munton, stood on the site now now occupied by the former TD Bank building, but with frontage facing North Street. The Mettowee Garage advertised both lines in the Sentinel.

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This spring, the Granville Board of Education announced that it would continue to look into athletic mergers. The first showing of this surfaced at the start of this month and was discussed at the Nov. 8 school board meeting. The idea presented was a merger of the Granville football team and the Corinth and Hadley-Luzerne teams into a single football team based in the vicinity of Corinth or Lake Luzerne. This idea was unpopular in Granville from the moment it was suggested, and athletes, parents and community members sounded out their opposition to the idea at the board meeting. The school board decided not to look any further into this particular merger.

The Granville/Corinth/Hadley-Luzerne combination was a silly idea from the start. While the two other schools are located within 10 miles of one another, Granville is more than 40 miles away from these schools, which are located the other side of the Glens Falls and Queensbury suburban area from Granville. The drive to or from these schools and Granville would be more than  an hour, for at least one of the trips, the travel would be done during the rush hour. While the school board should never have considered such an idea, it should at least be thanked for not pursuing it further.

Earlier this year, and about this time of season two years ago, another combination of football teams was proposed: Granville and Whitehall. If a merger is to be done, Whitehall is the only school that would make sense. It is geographically close to Granville; it is 10 miles away, by way of  Route 12. Whitehall is the only school near Granville besides Granville that has not yet merged. While the Whitehall school board has twice backed out of similar proposals, it should be noted that the plans presented were not fully thought out, and were done more as a co-partnership, and were not for a proper merger. Whitehall is the only logical choice for Granville to choose for merging football teams. If Granville is to combine its varsity football team with that of another school, it must be done right as a merger and with the plans made thoroughly.