Daytripper: Local products and history await in Granville

The famous Granville aged cheddar cheese is cut fresh at the Granville Country Store. (HOPE E. TREMBLAY/THE WESTFIELD NEWS)

GRANVILLE – As the summer of staycation winds down, there is still time to take a daytrip or two, especially with most students having a delayed start to the school year.

A trip to the very nearby Granville is a fun way to spend a day or just an afternoon. It’s a great time to head up the mountain to the town where ice-cream and apple picking merge in late summer and early fall.

At Nestrovich Fruit Farm, 561 Main Road, the apples are ripening and several varieties are already for sale. Pick-Your-Own will begin in a few weeks, but for now, picked apples are for sale, as well as juicy peaches and nectarines. Local honey and honey sticks round-out the current offerings.

And if there is an apple variety you’ve never tried, there are always samples for tasting. This family farm opened in 1914. Andrew Nestrovich came to America from Russia. As fate would have it, he was 20 minutes too late to board his passage to America – on the Titanic. He eventually made his way across the pond and settled in Granville.

He started the farm with apples, blueberries, pears, vegetables, livestock and tobacco. His son Ray Nestrovich and his wife Connie took over the farm and downsized, eliminating tobacco, vegetables and livestock. Their concentration on fruit – especially apples – was a success. Today, Ray Jr. and his family run the farm, which is open daily from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

A trip to Granville is not complete without a stop at the Granville Country Store, home of the famous Granville Cheese. The cellar aged cheese is available in medium cheddar, sharp cheddar, extra sharp cheddar, horseradish cedar and smoked cheddar. Several varieties are available daily and are freshly cut to order by the ½ pound and up.

A variety of apples can be found at Nestrovich Fruit Farm in Granville. (HOPE E. TREMBLAY/THE WESTFIELD NEWS)

The quaint store offers a deli, homemade soups, convenience items, baked goods and more. It has the feel of an old-fashioned country store, but with modern conveniences.

The store first opened in 1851 and owner John Murray Gibbons began making aged cheddar in the cellar for his own consumption. Word spread about his delicious cheese and customer demand made it a store staple. The Gibbons family owned the store until 1935 and it changed hands several times over the years. The current owners, Tina G. Deblois and Tracy V. Mountain, have continued Gibbons’ aged cheese tradition since 2006.

The store is open from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. daily and face coverings are required.

Another tasty stop in Granville is the Gran-Val Scoop, 223 Granby Road. Open Wednesday – Sunday from 1-8 p.m., the Scoop currently offers curbside pickup of its homemade ice cream during the pandemic.

The Scoop offers 32 different flavors of ice cream, including sugar free options, frozen yogurt and dairy-free flavors. They also offer seasonal flavors, including varieties of pumpkin, chocolate cinnamon and apple crisp for the fall. Cranberry, ginger and kahlua are other fall favorites that must be tried!

The Gran-Val Scoop started as a working farm in 1903. In 1991, Ethel Stubb, a daughter of the original owners, knew the dairy farm needed to diversify, so she began churning out ice cream.

The Scoop has a barnyard filled with animals to feed under normal circumstances, however during the COVID-19 pandemic, the barnyard and all the buildings are closed to the public.

Once you’ve filled your stomach, Granville has other sites to visit, including the Noble & Cooley Drum shop and museum, known as the Noble & Cooley Center for Historic Preservation.

Noble & Cooley drums can be traced to 1834 when Silas Noble and James P. Cooley began making drums in the Noble family’s farmhouse kitchen. They moved production to small factory and grew over time. The drums are still made today with the same quality and care.

A tour of the facility brings visitors back in time. History buffs and drummers alike will enjoy the museum and its centuries of drums.

The Granville State Forest offers camping, hiking, biking, fishing, hunting and more for those looking to connect with nature in a traditional camp setting. While there are restrooms and showers, , there are no electrical hookups at camp sites

Prospect Mountain Campground offers more options for camping, including some “glamping” luxuries such as wifi, cabin rentals, seasonal camper rentals, a store and gift shop, inground heated pool, laundromat, mini-golf and more.

Granville has a number of farms and orchards  where fresh-grown produce, honey, maple products and pork can be purchased.


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