Granby Road, Jockey Corners, Holcomb Blacksmith Shop and 1976 Replica

Granby Road Blacksmith Shop Wilcox Hotel before 1920.jpg
Granby Road Blacksmith Shop 01.jpg
Blacksmith Shop Replica 11 Feb 1976 article-6998.jpg
Granby Road Blacksmith Shop 01 reverse 02.jpg

Title

Granby Road, Jockey Corners, Holcomb Blacksmith Shop and 1976 Replica

Description

Pictures of the blacksmith shop that was located at the south end of what is now the village green. It was owned by Augustine Holcomb (1818-1893). He is buried in Silver Street Cemetery with his wife, Alvira (Dickinson) Holcomb.

According to Matthew Jones, the area of the present green was widely known as "Jockey Corners" because of the Holcomb blacksmith shop. The family legend that has been passed down for generations is that Matt's 3rd great grandfather, Augustine Holcomb, was a "horse whisperer" when it came to watching how a horse moved and deciding exactly how to craft the precise shoes needed to maximize the balance, comfort and speed of the horse. Because of this talent it was said that the owners and jockeys of the area's fastest horses would bring them to Holcomb's shop, and because of the frequency of these visits the area was given the nickname, "Jockey Corners."

This legend is supported by the fact that Columbus Wilcox, owner of the Wilcox Hotel, had his own race horses in the hotel's stable right behind the hotel and the blacksmith shop. It has been theorized that owners and jockeys likely frequented the hotel during their visits to the Holcomb shop. It must have been a lively place!

The Wilcox Hotel is visible to the left of the blacksmith shop in the photos. The blacksmith shop was torn down before 1920. Wilcox Hotel was torn down in the 1960's. The steeple in the background is the Universalist Church (also now gone) on Main Road.

The blacksmith shop was recreated by Ted Wackerbarth and a team of volunteers for the 1976 Bicentennial celebration. Articles relating to the new structure appear here. The 1976 building was taken down years later. If you know when, or whether it was put up somewhere else, please use the Comments facility below. Your Comment will be private until it is reviewed by the site administrator.

Date

Prior to 1920

Rights

Mabel Root Henry Historical Museum, 2023, Granville, MA.

Citation

“Granby Road, Jockey Corners, Holcomb Blacksmith Shop and 1976 Replica,” Granville History Digital Collection, accessed March 2, 2024, https://granvillehistory.omeka.net/items/show/923.

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