Granville Then & Now – Granville commemorates Veterans Day

Granville’s Veterans Day parade and ceremony were held on Friday, Nov. 11. The parade participants started to assemble at Gemini Fitness around 9:30 a.m. and the parade started at 10:03 a.m. A Granville police car cleared the way ahead and another led the parade.

They were followed by the Legion Riders, members of the Legion, the Legion Auxiliary, the VFW army truck, another army truck, John “Hector” Norton riding in a truck driven by Stephen Norton, the Granville High School Band, Cub Scouts Pack 44, a group of Girl Scouts, an ambulance from the Granville Rescue Squad, and a firetruck from the Granville Engine and Hose Company.

The Main Street intersection was cleared for regular traffic by 10:07. Meanwhile, the parade stopped at the Main Street bridge for the traditional brief ceremony there and then proceeded down West Main Street to Veterans Memorial Park, concluding the parade at about 10:20 a.m.

The ceremony at the park began as emcee Frank Riegert introduced the event. The traditional memorials followed, including the 21-gun salute and the playing of “Taps” and the National Anthem. The speakers were then introduced. Mayor Paul Labas was first, asking people to read the monuments. He noted that the veterans defended our freedom, and some gave the ultimate sacrifice. He also noted the local connection and that the veterans named on the monuments were Granville community members, just like those attending the ceremony.

Supervisor Matt Hicks gave his reflections on Veterans Day, bookending his speech with quotes. He noted the sacrifices that veterans have made to preserve American freedom and liberty and asked those present to think of the ideas and beliefs that the veterans stood for in defending our country. Hicks suggested to think of veterans’ sacrifices as an inspiration to be better: a better person, a better community member.

The last speaker was Sam Hall, who began by saying that he enjoyed speaking in Granville because Granville is a community that supports its veterans and loves America. Hall said that Veterans Day is a day to honor the millions of veterans, men and women, who have served, as well as those who have passed before. Hall also emphasized the sacrifices veterans have made.

After the speeches, Riegert thanked everyone for coming. The Granville High School Band played one more selection. By that time it was about 10:40; Granville’s Veterans Day ceremonies were over, and the attending crowd dispersed.

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There have been quite a few good deeds going on around Granville recently. The folks from Mandy Springs Nursery went around Granville one day in October, giving two bouquets of flowers each to quite a few people, one for them and one to give; all were thankful for the surprise gift. The Granville Center had unforeseen problems arise in their kitchen one day in October; the residents would have gone hungry had it not been for the Granville Family Diner cooking more than 100 breakfasts and taking them over. The United Church has been making hot dinners for local senior citizens.

Locals are getting ready to gather together hats and gloves, whether by purchase or by making the articles themselves, for the two annual collections of winter wear, by the Slate Valley Museum and the village tree lighting committee. Thanks to all in Granville who are doing what they can, with what resources and time they have, to help make Granville a better place.

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Granville’s varsity field hockey team had a good season this year, making it to sectionals for the second year in a row, winning the first game, followed by a loss concluding the sectional campaign. They ended the season with an 11-7 record. It may not have been the way they wanted to finish but they played hard and put in their best effort. Congratulations to the team on their teamwork and making it to sectionals.

Granville’s modified field hockey team had two interesting distinctions this year. One was that they finished the season undefeated. The other was that this was the first season with new coach Payton Barlow. The players have received her well and evidently are playing well. There may be great things ahead in Granville field hockey for Coach Barlow and her team players. Congratulations to all on the successful season.

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A public space in Poultney, Vermont opened for its first season this year. The Slate Quarry Park, located on the north side of Main Street in downtown Poultney, was completed and opened to the public this summer.

The development of the park, from idea to opening, took several years. The Slate Quarry Park Group was formed in 2016 to fund, design, and construct the park. The fundraiser was successful, with donations coming from more than 150 individuals, including many Poultney organizations. A major grant was received with the Town of Poultney from the Land Water and Conservation Fund.

The land was acquired next; the initial deposit of $10,000 was paid by Shawn Camara of Camara Slate, Richard Rupe of Rupe Slate, and Steve and Joe Taran of Taran Brothers Slate. These companies provided most of the slate used in the park, as well as other contributions.

The design and artistic efforts were led by Kerry Furlani, Poultney stone sculptor. Furlani made the original design with the assistance of Alan Benoit of Sustainable Designs. She later refined the design with Brian Post of Standing Stone Landscape Architecture. The design was later slightly adjusted to fit the budget.

Groundbreaking was held in May 2021. Construction took place over 14 months, ending in July. Matthew Schinski of Schinski Landscaping was the prime contractor. Dave Fielder constructed the standing stacked slate walls.

The park was dedicated and opened July 29. Speakers included Larry Sullivan, co-executive director of the Slate Quarry Park Group; Paul Donaldson, Poultney town and village manager; and Patricia McCoy, representative of Rutland County District 1, Vermont House of Representatives.

The Slate Quarry Park honors the slate industry, which provided growth for the region in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The entrance has a stone with the park’s name, carved by Kerry Furlani. Thirteen different colors of slate are used in the flooring, all produced in the Slate Valley. The park’s amphitheater has a spiral nautilus floor design. Three slate monoliths stand in the back. Each has a plaque with information; slate geology, history of the slate industry in Vermont, and a poem by Wendell Berry. The plaques were provided by Beverly Tatko and were made by Sheldon Slate of Granville.

Challenges were presented in the cutting of the 4 by 8 by 2 inch slate bricks, the bricks forming the nautilus, and the curved slate for the seating walls in the amphitheater and middle circle, especially the curved slate which had rarely been produced. These issues were solved and are now unique forms of cut slate.

Poultney has gained a new community space in the Slate Quarry Park, which will be utilized for community events. The park is now closed for the winter; it will be open every year from April 1 to Oct. 31. Many people were involved with the project; all who helped are to be commended for their efforts.