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Granby CT: Best Communities For Your Home In Connecticut

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Granby, Connecticut is a charming rural residential community about 14 miles north of Hartford on the north central border with Massachusetts. Granby is home to many urban professionals working in Hartford’s insurance and financial industry.

Connecticut Magazine ranked Granby the #3 overall Connecticut small towns (population 10,000-1500) to live in and #1 small town in Hartford County. The combination of Granby’s rural character together with its close proximity to major metropolitan centers makes Granby one of Connecticut’s best cities for your home and family.

The community we know today as Granby was a wilderness when it was first settled by a handful of hardy Puritans in 1680 that came over the Talcott Ridge from Windsor and called the area “Salmon Brook”.

Because they were on what was at the time the frontier of English civilization, these “outlanders” as they were called settled together for mutual support and defense between the branches of the Salmon Brook – several miles from the main Simsbury settlement and separated by “a large extent of barren pine plain.” The soil was rocky and the beautiful stone boundary fences that give the town such charm today was hard work clearing the fields of glacial rocks to be able to till the land.

One of the community’s early defining incidents in 1707 was the capture of Daniel Hayes, aged twenty-two by three Native Americans when he went out to check his horse in the meadow. The capture was witnessed by other settlers and a rescue party went after them in hot pursuit but couldn’t overtake the captors.

He was taken all the way to Canada over a month long journey tied up each night, then forced to run the gauntlet. Near the end of the gauntlet, he ran into a wigwam to avoid the blow of a club.

The woman of the wigwam had recently lost her husband and son in war, she confronted the attackers declaring her shelter sacred, and adopted Hayes as her son. For several years he took care of the woman and was eventually sold to a Frenchman.

The Frenchman made him a deal and Hayes earned enough to buy his freedom after two years. He then returned to the area from which he had been taken seven years earlier, settled down on a farm in what is now Granby and became prominent in the community’s early affairs.

By 1709 eleven families had settled in what today is Granby, but during certain periods was deserted when Indians where a threat and kept the growth of the community slow. As the aging population of the first generation of settlers grew older they resented the requirements of the long travel to church in Simsbury each week and finally received the right to form their own church society in 1736.

They remained an independent spirited community, and during the Revolutionary War resisted sending their townsmen to fight in the Continental Army, insisting on serving in their own militia companies. In 1786, Salmon Brook and Turkey Hills separated from Simsbury and became the town of Granby.

Today, The Salmon Brook Historical Society maintains the 1732 Abijah Rowe house, the 1790 Weed-Enders house, the 1870 Cooley School and the 1914 Colton-Hayes Tobacco Barn & Museum, with many exhibits of 18th and 19th century life.

Housing in Granby is mainly older colonials and single-family homes of traditional designs, although there are also condominiums and new constructions. Along with several small businesses, there are also a few family-owned farms and orchards that still operate along winding back roads.

Granby’s educational system, which provides public schooling for about 2,200 students and a full range of academic programs, also offers evening classes for adults.

The McLean Game Refuge is 3,400 acres and is shaped by glaciers, providing outdoor activities like nature study, hiking, cross-country skiing and picnicking. Enders State Forest has a group of hiking trails to six waterfalls. A 72-mile stream consisting of two branches of the Salmon Brook and a major tributary of the Farmington River flow through the town.

Recreation amenities include tennis courts, a playground, ball fields, a swimming pond, a summer day camp and a youth center. An exhilarating Memorial Day road race attracts runners and spectators from Granby and neighboring towns.

Located within about a 25 minute drive from both Hartford and Springfield, Massachusetts, Granby is served by State Routes 10, 20, 189, 202, and 219. Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks is six miles to the east on Route 20.

The combination of Granby’s rural charm and colonial homes, together with it close proximity to major metropolitan centers makes Granby one of Connecticut’s best cities for your home and family.

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Source by Steven Penny

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