The Granger Homestead Mansion
The architect of the Granger Homestead is unknown. Its design is representative of the Federal style of architecture which was common in America during the years from 1780-1820, and was an expression of America’s new independence.
The Granger Homestead is a three-story Federal-style wood frame structure composed of two sections: a main block with central hall plan constructed in 1816, and a north wing added in 1860. The main facade faces west onto North Main St. It is five bays in width for two stories with the third story narrowed to three bays. It totals about 13,000 square feet, including the basement.
There are few examples remaining of this type of house design. Influential architect Asher Benjamin's book, The American Builder's Companion, published in 1806, illustrates a "Design for a House Intended for the Country" which is very similar to the Homestead's west facade. There is speculation that Thomas Jefferson may have also had a hand in its design, which is also similar to homes built by a French architect named Ramee.
Sidelights and a transom window surround the entrance door of the west facade. A Colonial Revival porch dates to 1907 when there were major structural alterations undertaken. Decorative elements include a row of six Ionic pilasters flanking the second floor windows and four Doric pilasters which separate the three windows on the third story.
The south elevation, facing Granger Street, is distinguished by an elaborate two-story cast iron porch, which was added in the 1850s or 1860s. A cast iron balustrade crowns the porch roof, repeating the rhythm of the wooden balustrade, which outlines the entire second and third stories.
Over the years the east facade has undergone numerous changes. As it was constructed in 1815-16, it probably consisted of a five bay, two-story facade. On either end were smaller wings (either original to the house or constructed shortly after), which were connected by the long veranda.
Antoinette Granger's will stipulated that the Granger Mansion could not be sold for private residential use, only for charitable or educational purposes. When the Congregational Church put the home on the market in 1946 for $25,000, the local school board considered buying the property as the site of a new central elementary school. Because it was the intent of the School Board to buy the property and raze the Homestead, a group of concerned citizens led by the Honorable Joseph W. Cribb worked to raise the necessary funds to purchase the Homestead. It was the Judge Cribb who went to New York to the Congregational Board of Ministerial Relief to purchase the Homestead. Through his efforts and those of other concerned citizens, the Granger Homestead was saved from destruction. The Granger Homestead Society was formed in 1946. This Society has actively preserved and restored the Homestead to its original grace, charm and beauty, maintaining it as a house museum. Judge Cribb was also instrumental in the creation of the Carriage Museum in the late 1950s.