Settled around 1727 as part of South Hadley, rugged terrain and a lack of waterways hampered Granby’s industrial development. Despite these obstacles, settlers cleared land and established farms. With the construction of dams at what are now Forge Pond and Aldrich Lake, small factories were built for forging iron and manufacturing textiles. In 1812, a handful of distilleries used the surplus grain of Granby farms to produce whiskey. By the end of the 19th century, local industry had disappeared leaving agriculture, primarily dairy farming, as Granby’s main source of commerce. Farming as a way of life declined throughout the 20th century, and Granby became a bedroom community with most residents commuting to nearby cities and towns for work.
The marks of Granby’s history continue to dominate its landscape. There are a few working farms, growing strawberries, corn, tomatoes, and much more, and several farm stands offering fresh, local vegetables and plants. The town center is much the same as it has been for the last 100 years. On the grounds of the Congregational church, Granby’s original meeting house serves as the Granby Historical Society. Both are across the street from the town’s picturesque common.