Sunday, May 29, 2016

Memorial Day, 2016

We mark Memorial Day with thanks and appreciation to all who died in the service of their country, and with a letter from the NCCHP archives written by Noble & Cooley employee Howard S. Ellis on May 10, 1942 from training camp at Fort McClellan, Alabama. Howard had enlisted on April 17. The letter is to his fellow shop workers at Noble & Cooley.

For a larger, easier to read version click on each image below.

Howard's letter short letter covers some of life's great wishes and realities:

"If I can only have two wishes... I wish that the war was all over and I was home. The next wish would be that I was married."

"And for the gals down here I like the gals up there a lot more than the gals here. For the boys up there that ask me to find some girls for them they have to find [them] theirself or keep what they got."

"If anyone thinks that Army life is swell get in the Army and find out how it is."

Did Howie's two wishes come true?

Liz Jones, NCCHP board member and a direct descendant of James P. Cooley recalls: "Howie did come home after the war and spent the rest of his life in Granville, working at the shop in the tin room on the first floor (we still call it Howie’s Room). He did marry (Hazel Bettinger, on September 5, 1951) and they lived on Sodom Street. He was quite a character – and very hard to understand as he had no teeth!"

Howie Ellis (left) with Gunner Haig in 1935, turning drumsticks at Noble & Cooley
Howard Ellis died on March 11, 1999 at the age of 87 and is buried in Springfield.

For a picture of Howie Ellis with his N&C co-workers CLICK HERE.

Thursday, May 19, 2016


Today was a good day at the Research Library, with the storage racks and bookcases being assembled and partially filled with historic Noble & Cooley books and records. We are in great need of more racks and bookcases but this is a good start and it was encouraging to see some results after all the preparation work.

It is worth noting that NCCHP has been able to secure the needed storage racks via a SHRAB (Massachusetts State Historic Records Advisory Board) grant, and the bookcases were a "Craigslist Special" member donation. So far the Research Library project has had zero dollar impact on the NCCHP operating budget, thus preserving funds for projects related to the museum exhibit and facility improvements.

Click on photos to see larger versions:

One of the SHRAB grant storage racks, partially filled with
Noble & Cooley invoice boxes from the 1800's.
Partially filled donated bookcases. Our goal is for it to look even cooler than Jay's office!
We have many, many more books, documents and artifacts left to clean and store.
The Research Library work area is also "100% donated" with no impact on
the NCCHP budget. A point of pride for Research Library volunteers!
If you would like to make a donation to help the Research Library effort or wish to become a member of NCCHP please go to for further information.

Thursday, May 12, 2016


Wednesday, May 18- Save The Date:  “Sam and Elizabeth Colt’s Legend and Legacy”
The first NCCHP museum Living History presentation of the 2016 season will be on Wednesday, May 18th at 6:30 PM at 42 Water St. in Granville. 
Join William Holsey, writer, historian, speaker, preservationist and photographer as he presents a picture show and lecture that describes how this famous couple changed the course of history in Hartford, CT; he, by developing industrial technology at Colt Firearms and she, through countless acts of civic leadership and philanthropy.   Join us for an interesting evening exploring the epic romance, epic times and epic lives of one of America’s first power couples.  
The free Living History programs at the NCCHP museum are made possible thanks to a grant from the Granville Cultural Council and by donations from members and friends of the museum.  Thank you for your continued support in 2016.  Light refreshments will be served following the program. 
For more information visit the NCCHP website or call 413-357-6321.
Please help us spread the word about the Living History programs by sharing this post with family and friends. Thanks for your support! 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Noble & Cooley, 1873

Today's featured archive item is a newspaper article dating from August, 1873. It was glued to the back of an old company invoice sheet and saved with James P. Cooley's daily journals. Along with the Noble & Cooley article there are several items addressing Granville's ancient apple trees, summer visitors, and a list of the town's "aged persons" (upwards of 70 years of age) complete with their ages.

Be sure to click on the image below to view a larger, easier to read version.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

2016 NCCHP Museum Hours Announced

2016 Museum Hours:

The Noble & Cooley Center for Historic Preservation will open on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month beginning Sunday, May 15th through the end of summer. Hours are from 12:00 noon to 3:00 PM.

Today's Mystery Photo: Can You Identify Who, When or Where?

The following photo was unearthed recently from a family collection but unfortunately no clues are provided as to who the people are, where the photo was taken, or when. There is a little circumstantial evidence that suggests this may be a very old photo of Noble & Cooley employees, or employees of a different Granville area business. The family lineage associated with the photo collection is predominantly Holcomb and Rowley. It is known that members of those families worked at Noble & Cooley during the period this photo appears to have been taken (pre-1900).

Does anything here look familiar to you? Better yet, do you have the same photo in a family collection, with additional information? If so please email NCCHP by using the email address provided at the following link: Thanks!

Reminder: You can open a larger version of the photo by clicking on it.