Notable Town Citizens

  • John Griffin: (1605 -1681) First settler and first military officer in this area.

  • Samuel Higley: (1687 - 1737) Doctor and artist, who minted the first copper coins in America and pioneered in the manufacture of steel.

  • Captain John Viets: (1712 - 1777) First keeper of NewGate Prison.

  • Whitfield Cowles: (1764 - 1849) Entrepreneur, minister, and farmer, who founded one of the first companies to silverplate spoons (1843).

  • Eunice Griswold Penney: (1770 - 1849) Well-known artist who worked watercolors.

  • Walter Forward: (1783 - 1852) Lawyer and Secretary of the Treasury for President Tyler.

  • Lemuel Cicero Holcomb: (1795 - 1876) Conducted a boys school specializing in Greek and Latin.

  • Albert Carlos Bates: (1865 - 1954) Farmer, librarian, author, and historian.


Higley Copper Coins

In the early eighteenth century, population boomed due to the discovery of large copper deposits.  In 1737 and 1739, a local blacksmith named Higley issued copper coins which are so valuable today that the coins are preserved by museums and private collectors.


The Railroad

The East Granby Railroad Station









Railroad Bridge over Salmon Brook









Granby Railroad Station

First East Granby Fire Truck, Acquired in 1930

Indian Trails & Villages





















Warren A. Wilcox General Store. It was a restaurant in the center of town for many years.
















Lester Kniffin collecting milk for Ernest T. Giddings about 1912



















Prisoners' Poem

A grim picture of the prisoners' lot in Newgate was graphically described by this old poem of unknown origin, which appeared in the Windsor Locks Journal of June 29, 1900. Whitney D. Viets, proprietor of the prison at the time, had sent a copy to the Journal hoping to publicize the prison further as a tourist attraction.
Verces Made Upon Newgate Prison

 The court in fact have passed an act in 1790
Old Newgate to repair.
And those that break the peace must make
Their grim appearance there.
Bound in a chain they must remain.
And this must be their fate:
With hammer and tongs make good the wrong
Those wretches do the state.
Down in this den those guilty men
Will groan in sad despair
And curse the day that ever they
Was doomed to enter there.
Being void of light, eternal night
In those dire regions rein, 

While rocks and stones will wrack their bones
And torment them with pain. 
Unwholesome damp their limbs will cramp,
Their faces pale as ashes;
Their inward part will also smart
When guilty conscience lashes.
Hunger and thirst they suffer most,
And when the lice previel,
Then they with skill will learn to kill
And crack them with their nails. 
God grant that I may strive and try
In wisdom to excel.
And shun with horror that place of sorrow,
That true emblem of hell. 


The mission of the East Granby Historical Society shall be the preservation and promotion of East Granby heritage. 


East Granby Historical Society

PO Box 188, East Granby, CT  06026





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