Granville Then & Now – Many achievements realized here in 2021

By Erik Pekar, Town Historian

The year 2022 started the same way 2021 ended, with a persistent fog. The weather for the past month has been for the most part mild. There were only two major snowstorms, and each brought only a few to several inches of snow. During the week of Dec. 17, temperatures managed to reach a high of about 60, two days in a row. Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 were both foggy days, due to the warm temperatures in the high 30s and 40s. There was still snow on the ground on Christmas Day, but most of it has melted away. The area looks more like it is late March than early January.

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With 2021 having come to a close, let’s look back on the good things that happened during the year … the Slate Valley Military and Honor Banner Project, which saw honor banners placed in Granville and Hampton for the first time … the 2020-21 Granville school bowling team, which achieved a record of 40-8 that season … the creation of the Granville Community Foundation, which has already raised close to $1 million that will go toward grants that will benefit Granville … the successful Fall II Granville varsity field hockey team, which had a 9-0 season and won a game against Hoosick Falls, the second season in a row that such a win  occurred … the successful return of the Town Wide Garage Sale … the paving of Liebig Road and parts of Butler Road in the town … repaving of most of Route 149 in the Village of Granville, except Main Street … the first Granville Flea Market … the repainting of the Telescope water tower … an almost-normal single graduation ceremony for the class of 2021.

Continuing into July … the return of the popular summer concerts at Veterans Memorial Park … the repaving of several streets in the village, including all of Berkowitz Drive and Rawson Avenue, part of Potter Avenue, Morrison Avenue, Irving Avenue and South Maple Street … the replacement of the lights in the town lighting districts with LED lights … the 225th anniversary of the Granville Masonic Lodge … the completion of the murals on the walls of the Telescope factory buildings along Church Street, painted by the talented Jordan Flower … the return of the Autumn Leaves Car Show, which set the record of most cars gathered there and spectators attending … repaving of County Route 12A in Truthville, and County Route 25, the Pine Hill road … Halloween and trick-or-treating … the Christmas tree-lighting parade and ceremony in the park … the successful Lighted Tractor Parade.

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The new Church Street bridge opened on Dec. 23, with little fanfare but with lots of appreciation from the community. The new arch bridge is made of preformed concrete arches, with an attractive stone-like facade on the sides. There is only one sidewalk, on the west side. Two decorative old-style streetlights are on the bridge, next to the sidewalk. For unknown reasons, the corresponding lights for the east side were not included in the final design, giving the bridge an asymmetrical look.

The bridge’s opening comes after many, many delays to the project. The project was intended to start in 2020 but was delayed until last year. Delays in right-of-way clearance by utilities further delayed the project. Most cleared by March, but Verizon took until late July. The bridge’s original project deadlines of June to August were missed as a result. After the project began in August, other delays included imperfect concrete, rainy weather and snow.

The bridge project is still technically not complete; the workers from J. H. Maloy will return in the spring to redo the sidewalk to concrete and do landscaping around the bridge. The opening of the new Church Street bridge was long overdue. Many are thankful that this important road and crossing of the Mettowee can be used once more, and with a modern bridge that will last for many years.