NEWTONIA — A presentation of the history of Granby was the key aspect during last Thursday’s Newtonia Battlefields Protection Association’s meeting.

NEWTONIA — A presentation of the history of Granby was the key aspect during last Thursday’s Newtonia Battlefields Protection Association’s meeting.

The meeting started at 6:30 p.m. at the Newtonia Community Center, with a potluck dinner, followed by a business meeting and then NBPA president Larry James presented the PowerPoint presentation on Granby.

“It really started out as a mining town and exploded overnight, with a number of businesses,” said James. “According to some it was 1855 or so was when it (Granby) started.”

In Granby, mining started off with lead, eventually moving to zinc and then back to lead.

Around 20 people attended the meeting. James showed photographs of the town how it looked back in the early days up until the 1990s.

Shortly after the town started, the Civil War erupted throughout the country.

“Civil War closed the town down because all of the miners either went to fighting for the North or the South,” he said. “Settlers shipped as much lead out of there as they could get out it to the South. Eventually the Northerners came in and one of the last things that they did blew the furnaces. So at that point and time, it made it impossible to smelt lead at least, not a whole lot of it could be smelt, but not easily.”

After the Civil War came to an end in April 1865, Granby boomed.

“In the mid 1870s, early 1870s, it was really a boomtown,” said James. “But what would happen for about 50 years, is miners simply would follow wherever there were big strikes. So if there were a big strike in Granby, they would be there. Then the next thing you would know, they were over in Joplin, eventually heading into Oklahoma or they would go to Wentworth. But really up until the end of World War I, it was a very, very busy place.”

With the boom, the town’s businesses were also in demand. For instance, a number of grocery stores sprung up, hardware businesses and garment factories were just some of the businesses seen in the “Oldest Mining Town in the Southwest.”

“The highest that I ever heard was 7,000,” he said.

Granby’s current population is more than 2,100.

James also talked about some of the prominent people in Granby’s history including one associated with mining.

“John Kingston was probably one of the more prominent people, because for 50 years, he was connected with mining company there,” said James. “And pretty well everybody thought about the mines, they thought of John Kingston.”

Today, the town has numerous businesses from restaurants to stores to a grocery store, to name a few.

“It is pretty well platted out the same,” said James.

The next NBPA meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, March 26, at the Newtonia Community Building. The public is invited to attend.