East Granby Public Library invites the community to learn the town's history

By Calla Vassilopoulos - Staff Writer
East Granby - posted Fri., Sep. 13, 2013

For more than 40 years, the East Granby Public Library and the East Granby Historical Committee have been collecting items to track the town's history. In 1983, the library created a room dedicated to preserving the historical materials, which is now known as the Betty Guinan and Alice Newman Historical Room.

After more than 10 years of research, historical committee members Mary Jane Springman and Betty Guinan wrote a book, titled “East Granby: The Evolution of a Connecticut Town.” The book was published in 1983 and the room was an “off-shoot,” according to Library Director Lisa Salazar.

“Betty Guinan was the librarian at the old library for many years,” said library archivist Anne Borg. “She was also a member of the historical society and I think the two interests combined and that's when she started collecting materials for the historical room.”

Today, the library continues to track the history of East Granby by gathering historical items and present day materials such as newspaper clippings. Those who visit the room may also find information on surrounding towns including Simsbury, Windsor, Windsor Locks and Suffield.

Some of the items in the room include materials on Newgate Prison and Copper Mine, war records, local oral histories on cassettes, maps, newspaper clippings, and a photograph collection. According to Borg, some of the oldest documents are account books from Viet's Tavern, which was located across from the Old Newgate Prison. She said one book dated back to 1733.

“Most often, people are interested in a specific subject and come to do research,” said Borg. “I think the subject most people come for in any historical society or library is genealogy material. They are researching their ancestors and they want to know if we have any information.”

For a full list of items, information on donating materials, or to make an appointment during a time outside of the weekly hours - Tuesdays from 2 to 4 p.m. - visit www.egpl.org/historical-room.html.

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