In 1850, a man named William Foster was travelling on his way through Missouri to St. Louis. He stopped at the home of a settler by the name of Madison Vickery. Mr. Vickery had been digging along Gum Spring branch (creek) and discovered some unusually heavy rocks. He showed them to Mr. Foster, who recognized the rock as Galena ore. He did not make it to St. Louis. Mr. Vickery sank a shaft and began harvesting the ore. That mine was the first of many, leading to the "Granby Stampede" two years later. Hundreds of miners flocked to the area and by 1859, "Section Six" (Granby) was home to more than 8,000 people.
In 1856, the railroad had come to town, granting a lease of "Section Six" to Peter F. Blow and F. B. Kennett. In 1857, those two formed the Granby Mining and Smelting Company as a partnership to smelt lead. The company lasted throughout the Civil War and the smelter was held at various times by both the Union and Confederate troops, until the Confederates finally blew up the furnaces to keep them out of the hands of the Union.
The Granby Mining and Smelting Company was reorganized after the war by Henry T. Blow as president and Peter F. Blow, James B. Eads, Charles K. Dixon and Barton Bates as stockholders. For the next 50 years the economic base for the town was the smelting company. By 1869, the mining camps made the transition to a recognizable town with over 30 retail businesses thriving. Granby thrived for nearly a hundred years on the mining industry.
In the early 1950's, the ore, once thought to be inexhaustible, petered out. The company dissolved and shut down the mines. Granby became then, what it is now, a struggling bedroom/retiree town. Our population hovers at around 2,000 to 2,200 people currently. Recently our governmental leadership has become invested in growing our city. This year we will begin the long process of upgrading our infrastructure, beginning with a brand new sewer/water treatment plant. Future plans include a new water system, street repairs, adding businesses to the city.
The Granby Historical Society was formed in 1984 and now maintains the Granby Museum on Main St. The museum contains vast artifacts and literature on the history of our mining. Current members of the society are: Steve Burnett (President), Stan Carter (VP), RJ Savage (Secty/Treas), Jann Burnett (Asst. Secty/Treas) and board members Elaine Savage, Misty Carter, Pat Kelly, Sharon Woodruff, Stan Patterson and Pat Styron. These individuals are passionate about keeping Granby's history alive. Photographs included on this page are pictures which hang in the museum. Please visit when in Granby, it's worth the tour!