Saturday, September 16, 2017


Thanks to a recent donation of historic records, the NCCHP Archives Project has added a digitized copy of the Granville Valuation and Taxes report for 1892 to our museum "Collections" web site.
Granville Valuations and Taxes, 1892 (NCCHP Archives image)
You can view the complete report by CLICKING HERE. When you get to the report you can enlarge the thumbnails by clicking on them, then use the > arrow to advance through the report.

More years will be added as time allows.

NCCHP is a registered 501c3 non-profit organization supported entirely by unpaid volunteers and dependent on membership dues, grants and donations for operating costs. Please consider supporting NCCHP by becoming a member. For more information on membership CLICK HERE.

Thursday, September 14, 2017


The NCCHP Archives Project has just digitized and made available online the first of the Granville Town Reports that were recently donated to the museum.

Although it sounds like a dry topic, there is an amazing amount of detail concerning town expenses and the school system, all the way down to who was paid to shovel snow, and who achieved perfect school attendance. Your Granville ancestor(s) could well be mentioned in the report. If you are a researcher looking into late 19th century life, there is a wealth of information about cultural values and how things were done. The School Committee report is especially enlightening.

Granville, Massachusetts Annual Report, 1894 (NCCHP Archives image)

Here's the link: 1894 Granville Annual Report

Additional years will be added as time permits.

Monday, September 11, 2017


NCCHP President Matt Jones was driving past the museum on a recent Saturday when he noticed two cardboard boxes sitting on the NCCHP front doorstep. Kittens? Puppies? Twins? He stopped to investigate and to his amazement (and relief) the boxes were chock full of old documents and photos relating to Granville history! The material ranks among the most significant donations to the NCCHP Archives to date.

We're still sorting and organizing the contents of the two boxes but it includes the Granville Valuation and Taxes for 1892, 1894, 1897, 1899 and many other years:

1892 Granville Valuation and Taxes Book (NCCHP Archives digitization)
What makes these records so important is the detailed tax information for each property owner, for example (you can click on any images for a larger, easier to read version):

1892 Granville Valuation and Taxes Book, example of contents (NCCHP Archives digitization)
More recent material relates to the Granville Village School. A few examples:

Granville Village School, girls basketball team? Date unknown. (NCCHP Archives digitization of David W. Pulaski photo)
Thanks to Ralph Ledger (who happens to be in the photo below) for identifying his classmates in the photo above. They are:
Top row (L-R): Patty Trip, Susan Nestrovich, Darlene Sandman, Wendy Hansen, Donna Blakesly, Jill Wackerbarth, Barbara Zambs.
Front Row (L-R): Debbie Duris, Unknown, Gail Carpenter.
So who knows the cute kid holding the basketball??

Granville Village School, boys basketball team, date unknown (NCCHP Archives digitization of David W. Pulaski photo)
Granville Village School students with Senator Ted Kennedy, date unknown
(NCCHP Archives digitization, unknown photographer)
A challenge to all NCCHP History Detectives: If you happen to know the dates of the three photos above, or have the names of the people in the last photo, please drop NCCHP an email at We think the first two pictures date from the same time, perhaps around 1965; the third looks like classic 1980's. Thanks!

The plan for this collection is to preserve the physical documents in the NCCHP Archives, and digitize it so it will be available on line for the enjoyment of anybody, anywhere.

Footnote: The thoughtful donors have been identified and explained that they found the boxes while cleaning out the attic and were on the way to the dump when they realized, "Maybe the museum would like to have this stuff?" The Archives project does not have a slogan per se but we are now considering, "NCCHP Archives: Last stop before the dump!"

Tuesday, September 5, 2017


NCCHP will present "Cornelia Hancock: Civil War Nurse" at 7 PM, Wednesday, September 13, at the museum, 42 Water Street, Granville, Massachusetts.

Historian Carolyn Ivanoff will take guests back in time with excerpts from letters Cornelia Hancock wrote to her family. As well-known as Clara Barton during the Civil War years, this 23 year-old never publicized her contributions, yet was revered by the men of the Army of the Potomac. She describes events of the Civil War from the perspective of the doctors and nurses who tended the wounded, sick and dying soldiers in makeshift hospitals. Cornelia's experiences included the Battle of Gettysburg, where the military drum in the NCCHP collection was recovered after the battle. It is a story of dedication during the darkest hours of the war.

Ivanoff, assistant principal at Shelton Intermediate School in Shelton, CT is a versatile educator with more than 25 years in the industry. She is a past recipient of the Civil War Trust's "Teacher of the Year" award and assisted in the development of the Civil War Trust's national Civil War curriculum. You can read an interview with Carolyn Ivanoff by clicking HERE and view the Trust's Civil War Curriculum by clicking HERE.

NCCHP's free Living History program is made possible in part thanks to a grant from the Granville Cultural Council and by donations from members and friends of the museum. Light refreshments will be served following the program. For more information visit www.ncchp,org or call 413-357-6321.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017


After a trip to the Granville Public Library's History Room and great help from curator Rose Miller, the intrepid NCCHP history detectives can claim their first solved case! OK, there is still a bit of confusion about the identity of two of the fifteen people in the photo so technically we can only claim 88% victory.

After going through many, many photos carefully preserved in the History Room we were close to giving up until Thom's sharp eyes noticed a framed photo sitting on a display case. It happened to be a copy of Mystery Photo #6 (Granville Methodist Quire 1888; yes, that's the way it was spelled on the photo: "quire").

The big question- were the identities of the people in the photo written on the back? After a deep breath and pause for added effect, Thom turned over the photo and there on the back were the names of everyone in the photo, including Thom's grandmother, Lizzie Holcomb. It was the first image of her as a young woman he had ever seen.

Here are the notes from the back of the photo (click on any image below for a larger version):

Reverse of 1888 Granville Methodist Quire photo (Granville Public Library History Room photo)
Here's the photo:

1888 Granville Methodist Quire (Granville Public Library History Room photo)
There are a few items that were either corrected or points of disagreement concerning identities. First, the two bearded gents on the right side of the middle row are Lorenzo Noble and George Peck. But which is which seems to be up for debate, thanks to conflicting notations. So we still have one mystery left in Mystery Photo #6. The second item is clarification of "Myrtie" Rowley, which was corrected via an attached note indicating her correct name as Mary (Mati) Noble Rowley, wife of John Rowley, sister to Mrs. Charles Thompson. This was confirmed by the other NCCHP mystery detective in the room who happens to be her great grandson.

For NCCHP blog followers who may have noticed the names of ancestors in the list of people in the photo, let's take a closer look at these remarkable people:

1888 Granville Methodist Quire detail, upper left side (Granville Public Library History Room photo)

1888 Granville Methodist Quire detail, lower left side (Granville Public Library History Room photo)
1888 Granville Methodist Quire detail, left side (Granville Public Library History Room photo)
Now for the final mystery of Mystery Photo #6: Of the two gents in the upper right of the photo above, do you know which is Lorenzo Noble and which is George Peck? If so, join the NCCHP History Detectives and "help keep the drumbeat of history" alive. Send an email with your answer to along with any reasonable proof that you're right. Thanks!

Friday, August 25, 2017


The latest NCCHP mystery photo comes from the Gilbert/Holcomb/Rowley family collection. This time we're lucky because the "what and when" questions are already answered in the photo's border.

This handsome group is the Granville Methodist Choir (or "Quire" as spelled in the 19th century). The photo is dated 1888. So the remaining mystery has to do with "who." Do you recognize any ancestors? Have an old photo with any of these people in it? Or a list of choir members from around 1888?

There is a clue as to the identity of one person in the photo. The bearded gentleman with the tie, second to the right, seated, seems to have a baton in his hands. The choir conductor?

To see a larger version click on the photo below. If you have any information on the identities of the people in the photo please drop an email to Thank you!

Granville Mass. Methodist Quire, 1888. M.O.T. Coleman, Photo.
(Photo courtesy of the Gilbert family)

"History of Lost Quabbin Towns" Living History Event

NCCHP's 2017 Living History series continued on Wednesday, August 23rd when longtime Quabbin Reservoir educator and photographer Dale Monette presented "Quabbin: Then and Now."

A full house was treated to Mr. Monette's incredible account and breathtaking photos of life before and after the construction of the reservoir. You had to be there to appreciate the amazing photographic work as the audience traveled through time with images fading from the past into the present, and back again. A brilliant and highly creative approach to a remarkable subject.

As things turned out, Mr. Monette happens to be a drummer and devotee of Noble & Cooley drums so he was thrilled to have had a tour of the drum factory before his presentation began. As he noted to the audience, "I'm still recovering from my amazement at this place. I'll never look at my drums the same way again."

A packed house gathered at NCCHP on August 23rd for "Quabbin: Then and Now" (NCCHP photo)
Dale Monette took State Department of Conservation and Recreation images shot in the 1930's from the Quabbin Reservoir archives and then took his own photos of the same spots for the displays. This gave visitors the opportunity to see how houses and scenes looked before and during construction of the reservoir and how those areas look now, some 80 years later. Many of the older images had never been seen by the public.

Monette specializes in nature photography, wildlife and landscapes. He was born and raised in Athol and since the early 1970's has lived within two miles of the reservoir, where he finds many of his subjects. An avid bird watcher since youth, Monette has hiked and fished at the Quabbin for years. During the 1980's he was involved in the successful efforts to bring back the common loons and bald eagles as nesting species to the Quabbin watershed.

(Dale Monette photo)
The free Living History programs at the NCCHP museum are made possible in part thanks to a grant from the Granville Cultural Council and by donations from members and friends of the museum. For more information visit or call 413-357-6321.

For more information on the 2017 Living History schedule, CLICK HERE.

The museum is open for tours from noon to 3 PM on the second and fourth Sundays of the month from May through October. Tours are available at other times by appointment.