Loomis Brother's Store #2
(1877 - 1891)
& Print Shop
256 Salmon Brook Street
(East Side of the Street)
Within a month of the disastrous fire at their first store, at #259 on the west side of the Salmon Brook Street, the Loomis Brothers had moved across the street and into a building they were using for storage. And that was the second Loomis Bros. store. It is the building with the second-floor porch in the center of the photo.
A Bit More:
A newspaper article of 1889 mentions the shears used by James Newton Loomis to cut cloth for men’s suits and overcoats, going back to the Civil War. Clothes were made locally and in the basement of the store. Loomis was famous for his accuracy in cutting and measuring cloth.
At that time there were apartments on the second floor of the building. One of the apartments was rented to “Aunt Julia” Holcomb who cared for a severely retarded child named “Charlie”. She supported both of them as a seamstress and also doing tailoring work for James Newton Loomis.
A newspaper article from 1897 was quite indignant: “The upstairs part of the previous Loomis Bros. store (store #2) is rented by a Mr. Holcomb who pretends to be a barber. He allows his place to be used as headquarters by a lot of hoodlums, who gather there and insult passers-by and throw melon rinds and eggs at anyone who happens in their way. It should be stopped.”
This was the store that James Lee Loomis (son of Chester Peck Loomis) remembered from his childhood. He wrote a booklet called "The Old Country Store" about this building. An excerpt follows: "As we enter the store, the post office is at the left. There are perhaps 100 boxes. You can get your mail only by asking for it. The first counter on the right is candy, cigars, smoking and chewing tobacco, and a few packages of Sweet Caporal cigarettes, then believed to be a device of the Devil worse than cider brandy – which was a product of our hillside farms. This department also included knickknacks and drugs."
He concludes, "In the days of the old store, each customer was a neighbor, a trade outlet and a risk to be understood."
The Print Shop:
The building called the Print Shop is the one on the right in this photo. The shop is now located on the corner of Rte. 189 and Salmon Brook Street. Only the first third of the building is original.
According to a long-time Granby resident, Mrs. Franklin Loomis, there once was a school in this building.
In 1870 it was used by James W. Gillin for his harness shop. In 1891 Gillin remodeled the harness shop. He continued working here until the early 1900s. The desk in the Salmon Brook Historical Society Rowe house office belonged to James W. Gillin, the harness maker who lived at #229 Salmon Brook Street.
In 1912 Mr. Maynard of Hartland planned to open a barbershop in the harness shop. It is unknown how this building was used between 1912 and 1948. The Loomis Store may have owned it and either used it for storage or rented it to someone.
In 1948 June Shattuck Feley opened her Print Shop in this building and added onto the back section to make room for her large printing presses. After more than four decades providing a printing service for Granby citizens, June Feley retired and closed her Print Shop in 1991.
The building is going to be removed for road improvements in 2020.
Gillin’s desk from the harness shop
Harness maker display from The Salmon Brook Historical Society