Smith-Cooley House

221 Salmon Brook Street

A Bit More:

Orlando Smith was a prosperous farmer who also owned a sawmill located on Bissell Brook in what is now McLean’s Game refuge (1833).

By 1897 Orlando Smith was still living in the house with his daughter, Louise or Mrs. Daniel P. Cooley.  That year, at the age of 86 and in poor health, he committed suicide.  First, he shot himself in the head (which was not successful) and then hanged himself.

The house was next owned by Daniel P Cooley and his wife Louise Smith. Cooley was a builder, a carpenter, and a farmer who found early success growing tobacco. He also served as Granby’s representative in the State Legislature. In 1906, Daniel had a patent on a machine called a “seed cleaning apparatus.”  There is no mention of how successful it was. Daniel was the one who had #234 moved up the street for his daughter Ada.  

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The barn on the property was probably built in mid 1850’s using chestnut beams & wooden pegs. It is assumed the lumber was hewn at OE Smith’s sawmill. 

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A current attic room with wallpaper and the original rug. A story that was used by a farmhand and after the death of a son, his belongings were put in a trunk and kept there.

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An etched name on the dining room window. After receiving an engagement ring the young woman wanted to see if it was a real diamond.

This House:

An earlier house was probably built on this site before 1788 because that year James Smith gave it to his Grandson, James Smith. In 1853 Orlando Smith tore down the old house and built the present house in 1854.

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Louise (Pratt), Orlando Smith & Daughter Louise

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Daniel and Louise (Smith) Cooley

Even More:

In the winter of 1863, Orlando and Louisa Smith accused local doctor Francis T. Allen of immoral conduct.  The minister of the First Congregational Church and a committee looked into the matter.  A church trial was held and Dr. Allen read the following confession:

 “To the Congregational Church of Granby, CT, I hereby confess that I have in the case of Mrs. Orlando Smith been guilty of imprudence and indiscretion.  For the above imprudence I am heartily sorry and deeply regret the acts, and humbly ask the forgiveness of this church.

I made the first advance by kissing her on a certain evening in May at Orlando Smith’s house. Again, I did not resist Mrs. Smith’s advances from that day to the next August with as much decision as I ought to have done. And I erred in telling Mrs. Smith that she might tell Mr. Smith I pulled her down into my lap and kissed her. I acknowledge that was wrong. It was a falsehood uttered under the pressure of the moment. For all this, I sincerely ask your forgiveness. Francis T. Allen "Dr. Allen," asked to be dismissed from the church, but not released from his covenant vows.  Before long, the doctor was forgiven and welcomed back into the church.