Stroll Through Granby History awarded top honor

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Peg Giles (l.) and Kathy Morgan put up the Stroll signs on Salmon Brook Street. Submitted photo

Salmon Brook Historical Society (SBHS) was recently notified by the Awards Committee of the Connecticut League of History Organizations (CLHO), that it has been awarded the top CLHO honor, the 2021 Award of Merit, for October’s Stroll Through Granby History initiative.

Per the CLHO Awards Committee announcement, “The committee appreciated the society’s efforts to create a safe and workable program for the public during the pandemic—one that provided an opportunity for the community to explore its history at their own pace, while outside. We also commend your venture into untried technology in order to make this program possible.”

The purpose of the CLHO Awards of Merit is to recognize the care, thought and effort invested in historical projects that inspire and encourage others by acknowledging exceptional contributions to state and local history. The mere fulfillment of routine functions does not justify an award. Action over and above the ordinary call of duty is prerequisite for an Award of Merit.

The Stroll Through Granby History initiative occurred Oct. 2 to 29 last year and was co-chaired by SBHS board members Peg Giles and Kathy Morgan. SBHS curator/archivist Carol Laun spent countless hours working on the content for the initiative. In addition, board member Howard Berg worked to digitize pictures of the featured homes. Ed Judge, Jay Harder and Madeline Catania of the Granby Camera Club took photos of the current structures. And web designer Janice Gucciardi, from Jabberhead LLC, provided the social media support that allowed the society to track metrics on the initiative’s impact.

SBHS President Todd Vibert thanked the entire Board of Directors for their support of this project. He continued by saying, “In this time of the pandemic, I was so pleased that the Salmon Brook Historical Society found a way to stay outdoors while sharing Granby’s history. Stroll Through Granby History was an opportunity to both walk and learn while being appropriately distanced from each other because it was all done outside.”

The Stroll occurred along Granby’s central historic district that includes about 35 homes or buildings with known stories. SBHS invited people to stroll from the Salmon Brook Historical Society properties at 208 Salmon Brook Street north to the green and learn about town history as told by 32 of those houses. And in recognition of the 75th anniversary of the historical society, SBHS placed a temporary sign with a picture of the original house in each front yard. In addition to the picture, the posters included a QR code. By using the QR code with their smartphone or tablet, walkers could learn about the history of the house and the people who lived in it.

All the information from the Stroll is still available on the society’s webpage.

Stroll project co-chair Peg Giles said: “Our society members were pretty excited about this initial project to get the information from inside the SBHS archives out into the community. This CLHO award demonstrates what we learned from this project, that when history is properly showcased, it can come alive and excite future generations about our town’s remarkable past.”

For more information about the society, please go to