Uncovering Granby’s Black History

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Black Civil War soldiers, submitted photo

The Salmon Brook Historical Society (SBHS) participated in Granby’s first Juneteenth celebration with six interactive signs that revealed some of the early history of Granby’s Black residents.

The society’s six signs will be available on the SBHS campus during the summer each Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. when the buildings are open for tours.

Each sign has a QR code, accessible with a smartphone, that directs users to the SBHS website. The information honors Black residents who were active participants in Granby’s life dating from the 1700s. Black soldiers fought in our nation’s wars from the French and Indian Wars through the Civil War. They were enslaved people, farm laborers and landowners — the Elkys, the Wallis family and the Percys. Born in North Granby, white abolitionist Emily Clemons Pierson published a novel about escaped slaves in 1852, four months before Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

Carol Laun, Granby’s extraordinary archivist, began collecting these facts and stories as far back as 1987. Laun died in 2021.

The stories are available from the signs or at Salmonbrookhistoricalsociety.com