Israel Parsons House (1800)

Built in 1800 (or perhaps 1816), the Israel Parsons House is an end chimney Federal-style residence on Main Road in Granville. Israel Parsons was born in Springfield in 1762 and his family came to Granville in 1766. He served during the Revolutionary War and, according to a compilation of Chapter Sketches, published by the Connecticut Daughters of the American Revolution in 1904,

In 1783 he acted as Commissary at New Windsor, near West Point, in room of Commissary Post, who was taken sick and finally retired from the station. Israel Parsons was personally known to General Washington, and was ordered to his headquarters and directed to furnish the necessary provisions to the troops. By great personal and fatiguing exertions he succeeded in complying with the objects and desire of the Commander-in-Chief, in such a manner as to elicit from him testimonials of his satisfaction, with the highest commendation of his conduct.

Parsons married Mary Marvin in 1787, served several terms as a Representative in the Massachusetts General Court and died in 1846.

The Rev. T.M. Cooley House (1801)

Rev. Timothy Mather Cooley became the minister of Granville’s Congregational Church in 1805. In 1798 and 1799, he led a religious revival in the town, where he had grown up and lived all his life. He described the revival in an article for the Connecticut Evangelical Magazine of January 1802. In 1845, a jubilee was held in Granville, celebrating Cooley’s fifty years there as pastor. A number of his sermons were published during his lifetime and Rev. Cooley also wrote Sketches of the Churches and Pastors in Hampden County, Mass. (1854). After he died in 1859, at the age of 83, Lydia Huntley Sigourney wrote a memorial poem. The Rev. T.M. Cooley House in Granville Center was built in 1801.

West Granville Congregational Church (1778)

In 1778, residents of West Granville volunteered many hours and much labor to construct a Congregational church. The long distance required to travel to the meeting house in Granville Center had led the people of West Granville to decide to form their own parish, which was officially established in 1781 as the Granville’s Second Congregational Church. Around 1845, the church was remodeled so that it has a transitional Greek Revival/Gothic Revival exterior.

The Dr. Austin Scott House (1810)

Built around 1810, the home of James Cooley in Granville Center is a Federal-style home with a double leaf front door below a Palladian window. The house was later the summer home of Dr. Austin Scott, president of Rutgers University from 1891 to 1906. He died in Granville in 1922 and according to Rutgers Alumni Monthly (Vol. 2, No. 1):

Dr. Scott’s funeral service was held at Granville Center, Massachusetts. For years he had his summer home there, the home of his grandfather, with whom he spent much of his boyhood. The service was in the village Congregational Church, and the neighbors gathered to pay their tribute of great respect and friendship.

Noble and Cooley Drum Factory (1872)

In 1852, master mechanic Silas Noble began manufacturing toy drums in his kitchen. In 1854, Noble and his partner, James Cooley (who handled the business side of their operation and whose descendants still run the business), built a factory in Granville (the current structure dates to 1872). Taking advantage of nearby water power (an electric generator was installed in 1915), the Noble & Cooley Drum Company prospered. They made marching drums for the Union Army during the Civil War, but their main business continued to be the production of toy drums. In the 1980s, the company entered the professional drum market, producing a highly regarded single-ply solid shell snare drum using an original steam bending machine from the nineteenth century. The factory, which has a drum weathervane, is now also home to a museum, the Noble & Cooley Center for Historic Preservation.

The Joel Root House (1816)

In the Spelman Genealogy (1910), Fannie Cooley Williams Barbour writes of Elizabeth Lucins Spelman Brown:

Mrs. Brown spent much of her girlhood in the “Old Spelman Red House,” and received the names of her two grandmothers, Hayes and Kent. Soon after her marriage, her husband purchased the old Joel Root homestead on the hill at East Granville, near the church. The house is built in the Colonial style, and the door and entrance is much admired. Mrs. Brown has lived in it for fifty years, and still continues to reside there. […] Mrs. Brown was a singer, taking part in the Granville Jubilee of 1845 and later in the Jubilee of 1895, having retained her vocal talent for the intervening years. She was prominent in the affairs of the schools of Granville, and did much to aid them. At the time of the Jubilee of 1895 a reunion of the Spelman family took place at her house, and a large gathering of descendants was present, coming from all parts of the United States.

The house, on Main Road in Granville Center, was built around 1816 by Joel Root, who married Sarah Ensign in 1803 and then, after her death, married her sister Clarissa Ensign in 1811. According to James Pierce Root in Root Genealogical Records (1870):

He commenced business in early life, and was a successful merchant for more than forty years in his native town, where, by honesty, integrity, and faithful application to business, he accumulated a property large for those days and the place in which he lived. He was postmaster for a series of years, and during his whole life had the confidence and respect of his fellow townsmen, being frequently honored with the highest offices within their gift. Mrs. C. Root has resided in Springfield, Mass., for the past few years, and though nearly eighty, has never used spectacles, and reads with ease the finest print.

At an 1850 double-wedding in Springfield, Root’s daughter Amorette married Col. Horatio N. Case of Springfield and another daughter, Sarah, married Calvin Spencer of Hartford.