Granville Historical Society Museum

115 Broadway E
Granville, OH 43023-1303

740-587-3951   |
May through October- Fridays: 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. | Saturdays: 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. | Sunday: 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Granville Historical Society Museum

Explore the historical ties between central Ohio and New England at the Granville Historical Society Museum.

The Granville Historical Society Museum boasts the finest collection of historical artifacts and documents connected to the founding and history of the village of Granville. The museum's collection is vast with dozens of tools used by the founders of Granville and instruments from the earliest iterations of the village's band. Original agricultural equipment with patent illustrations are on display with complete breakdowns of how the people of Granville once used the tools. More recent history is also on display including collections from the Old Spring Valley Pool, once a recreational center of Granville and now a nature preserve. Thanks to the founding of the Granville Historical Society in 1885, the museum has a remarkably complete historical archive that is open to the public. The archive's materials range from early aerial photographs to founding documents.

Before the arrival of white European settlers in the early 19th century, the area that became Granville was settled by Native Americans. The burial mounds that dot the county provide strong evidence of Hopewell Native American communities. Granville even has its own mound, Alligator Mound, but when white settlers came in the early 19th century, only a Wyandotte settlement in the northwest section of the county remained.

Settlement began in 1800, but the village of Granville has a unique history tied to southwestern Massachusetts. English colonists came to Granville, Massachusetts, in 1736. The town expanded rapidly; however, rocky soil made farming difficult. In pursuit of more fertile lands, a three-person exploration team was dispatched west in 1804, where they found suitable lands near Raccoon Creek east of the Licking River. Upon returning to New England, the team created the Licking Company to buy the nearly 30,000 acres surveyed in central Ohio. A year later, 234 New Englanders made the rough journey to Ohio and named their new home Granville, in memory of the place they had just left. Largely bypassed by the Ohio and Erie Canals, the village grew slowly and dedicated itself to becoming an education center. The Granville Literary and Theology Institute founded in 1831, eventually became Granville College in 1845, and finally Denison University in 1856.

The history of the village has been recorded and preserved by the Granville Historical Society since the late 19th century. Located on Broadway, Granville's main drag, the society has occupied the historic building since 1955. Originally established as a bank in 1815, the Granville Historical Society Museum has been in operation in the same location since the mid-20th century.

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Notes for Travelers

The archive has separate hours from the Museum. The archive is open on Thursdays 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. year-round.


Melvin Barnes