Granville Then & Now – Classic cars exhibited at annual show

Salem NY 4th of July Parade Art & Plow Fest

By Erik Pekar, Town Historian

The Penrhyn Engine and Hose Company held its 14th annual Car Show on Saturday, June 11 next to the firehouse in Middle Granville, on the Middle Granville road (County Route 24). The weather was warm and sunny, with a light breeze that picked up as the day went on. The cars came in for the start at 4 p.m. and lined up in the field to the south of the firehouse. There were more than 20 sponsors, including those that frequent sponsorship of car shows, local and regional car and auto parts businesses, and quite a few Granville area businesses. A DJ was present, playing the popular music of the 1950s and early 1960s. Tickets were sold for several raffle items, the numbers for which were called out over the course of the event.

After 7:30, the prize cars of the people’s choice and judge’s selections were named. There were 58 cars entered in this year’s show. It was noted by an organizer that this was lower than previous years, likely due to the present high gas prices. The upside, however, is that there were 167 spectators, a higher number than those who attended this car show in the most recent years it had been held. Overall, the event was successful, and many people stopped by to see the cars, which is what it’s all about.

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Granville Lodge No. 55, F. &. A.M., is holding one of its famed BBQ chicken dinners today (June 16). Dinners will be available starting at 4 p.m., costing $13, and will be handed out in a drive-thru form. This is the third such dinner that the Granville Masons have put on this year; the first was held May 5, benefitting the Granville Little League, and the second was held May 19. Both were successful, and today’s BBQ dinner is assured to be just as successful.

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The neighborhood of Water Street, once one of the more run-down parts of Granville, is now looking better than ever. The last of the buildings on the south side of the street were removed two years ago. The area was filled in level last year during the Church Street bridge replacement project.

Now is the time to finish improving Water Street. The village, town, or a local civic organization or group should acquire the land south of Water Street between the rail trail and Church Street. This land is presently in two parts, one part owned by Kevin Daigle and the other by Washington County. The land, if acquired or donated, would make a perfect access point to the Mettowee River. It also has sufficient room for parking, both for the access point and overflow for the Slate Valley Museum. As part of this project, Water Street should be widened, and the utilities asked to move their poles and lines to accommodate this. If such a project was done, Water Street would then become a gateway to the Mettowee River and the slate museum.

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Last month, two Granville area residents passed away, both of whom made a positive impact in the Granville community, in one way or another.

Jack Cody opened Cody’s Diner in Truthville in the 1950s. He owned it for more than 40 years and it was a popular eatery in its time. The diner was sold in the 1990s to Wilma Borden, who renamed it Wilma’s Diner; it closed some years later and was demolished.

Diane Wescott was a substitute teacher in the Granville schools for many years whose mixture of geniality and directness gained her well regard among many students through the years. She was also involved with local Girl Scouts for many years. In addition, she and her late husband Dan also ran an arts and crafts business on Main Street for some time in the 1980s, called K&L Craft and Hobby. The initials were from the first names of their children. Both did well to better Granville in some way, whether in business or in community involvement, and they both will be missed.

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More paving projects have occurred in the area. The Granville village DPW has paved their streets for the year. The repaved streets are Church Street, from Potter north to Morrison; Park Avenue; and Columbus, from Irving to Elm. The streets were milled in late May, and repaved the week of June 9, with one lane paved one day and the other lane paved on June 8. No further streets will be repaved this year, as the village gets a limited allotted amount of highway improvement funds and the cost of blacktop has increased since last year.

Washington County has been working on paving projects in the area as well. North Street was finished June 7, with Pine Street being done on June 8. Lane markings will have to be painted on the road.

The state DOT is making progress with its repaving of Route 22, from Route 4 in Comstock to Route 40 in West Granville. The highway has been milled and repaving has begun. The entire westbound lane has been repaved, and most of the eastbound lane has been as well, with the exception of a section from near the Great Meadow Correctional Facility to the vicinity of the Comstock power substation. None of the connections to side roads have been paved; as of June 12, these are still at the lower “milled” height and will have a double bump for those who enter or exit Route 22 at those places.