Ted Riggott and Gary Maulucci of West Granby have found a way to give back to their favorite historic village. Beginning in the summer of 2017 and extending to the present, they have devoted hours upon hours of work to an old tobacco shed that represents the grip that West Granby has on them.
Last fall I wrote about plans to save the south tobacco shed at the Holcomb Farm as Riggott and Maulucci were constructing a massive bracing system that we hoped would keep the perilously inclined structure from toppling over under the weight of winter snow and ice. The farm’s lone surviving shed in its original condition is an illustration of the history of agriculture in this region. Ted and Gary understood that all along.
Once winter quit, they returned with help from Bill Doherty, a barn restorer from Stafford, and from Bob Courser, who had the right machine for Ted to push on the northeast corner while Bill cranked cables on the other side. Our hearts were in our throats, as the wood creaked and groaned and cracked, threatening total collapse at any minute. But she held, and the old posts inside slowly and miraculously stood up straight. This summer it was time for bracing and cabling from the inside, with hardware from supportive West Granby natives, the current proprietors of Beman’s. Now on Fridays, Ted, Gary, and teammates they have gathered into the project—Greg Stenhouse, Fran Mainello and John Crespan— continue repairing siding, refastening original hardware, and solving one structural problem after another.
The hope is to get all this work protected with a roof before winter. What, a year ago, seemed to everyone but Riggott and Maulucci to be a lost cause is on its way to victory. Come check out the transformation, and while you’re there, take in my new historical signs on the north and south sides of the house.
Thanks to numerous donors who have helped pay for materials. Want to help with the roof? Send your donation to “Save the Barn,” Salmon Brook Historical Society, Box 840, Granby, CT 06035.