Moving to Granville, Ohio? Here's Everything You Need to Know!

Get the Best of Both Worlds: A Quaint, Small-town Suburb Just Miles Outside the Bustling City of Columbus

a street in granville ohio on a sunny day
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238 Broadway E. Granville, Ohio 43023
(740) 587-7319
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Jenalee Janes


Jan 21, 2021

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Your gran would love it...and so will you.

a view down main street
When Granville was first established, the people came with a New England layout for the town already in mind! Image from Pixabay.

Granville, A History: From New England to Newer England

New Englanders first began planting their seeds in Granville in 1805, when about one hundred fifty people from the neighboring communities of Granville, MA and Granby, CT ventured west in search of more fertile land. The moment they discovered the land that is now Granville, they knew they’d found the perfect spot. Parking their ox-drawn carriages, they began building temporary shelters for themselves around the land so that they could plant their corn crops for the coming year before heading back to their communities to report on what they’d found.

Before the settlers had even left, designs were drawn up for how the layout for the new village they founded should look. The entire concept of Granville, Ohio as a community was based on the layout of traditional New England town centers. It was to include a public square where people could gather, a school, a library, burial ground, and enough land to house various churches along with the people of the community. Today, Granville is still a community hub with the same institutional values its settlers came with originally (though, perhaps not all in their original buildings).

While slow at first, Granville grew fairly steadily in the years following its establishment, much of this thanks to the nearby canals. Twenty years after the village was formed, the Ohio government authorized the development of a canal system that would connect Lake Erie to the Ohio River. Local Granville businesspeople, then, seeing an opportunity to participate in market trade, built a smaller canal off of the larger one running through Newark, which fed shipments from all along the east coast and New Orleans straight to the people of Granville, Ohio.

In the wake of more recent historical research, various mounds in Granville and the surrounding Licking County area suggest that the land was, at one point, home to ancient settlements and Native Americans. Most of the mounds were formed from earthy materials such as clay, soil, fieldstones, or animal decay. Natives would combine these materials to form human-made hills of varying sizes, which, when they settled atop of them, gave them a higher ground advantage over nearby warring tribes.

an image of the National Blue Ribbon School insignia awarded to honorable schools
Granville’s Middle School has been awarded status as a National Blue Ribbon School. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Living in Granville

If you’re moving to Granville, Ohio but still a little wary about what life in a small village will be like, don’t worry. From local government to safety to education, Granville is all about taking care of its people. And to top it off, the village is very community-based, so you’ll have no trouble making some new lifelong friends out of the people around you!

Village Knows Best: Granville Local Government

It is the goal of Granville’s local Council-Manager form of government to keep the village’s best interests at the forefront of any decision-making. Under the Council-Manager government, seven Council members are elected into office, and they then appoint the Mayor and Vice-Mayor from its members, as well as the Manager, who is non-partisan. Each elected Village Council member serves a four-year term, which is staggered against the terms of the other members. The Mayor and Vice-Mayor undergo appointments again every two years.

The Council’s duties include setting the compensations of various Granville officials and employees, as well as approving legislation regarding Granville Village services, tax levies, money lending, regulation and licensing of local businesses, and any other interests of the municipality. On the other side of things, the Mayor has all of the Village’s judicial and military power, with the Vice-Mayor the second-in-command if the Mayor is absent. All together, Granville’s Council-Manager style of government ensures that the business and commerce of the village is running smoothly so that its people can continue to live happy, prosperous lives.

Minutes for each meeting are recorded and later uploaded for public viewing so that you can see each topic that has been discussed and resolved by your elected leaders. You can find the meeting minutes to any of the Council-Manager meetings here.

Safety First: Granville’s Police and Fire Departments

Granville’s police department goes the extra mile in terms of safety. Headed by chief William Caskey, the police department assists Granville, Ohio residents with all matters of legal safety, ranging from safety talks to children at school assemblies to checking in on your home or business if you’re away for an extended period of time. They can also assist you if you accidentally lock yourself out of your car, and work vigilantly to check on the safety of the village during regular patrols, which they conduct 24 hours a day both in cars and on bikes.

Under Fire Chief Casey Curtis, Granville Township Fire Department (GTFD) offers top-of-the-line fire and EMS services for both emergencies and non-emergencies. The GTFD provides its services to all of Granville Township, including the Village of Granville and Denison University, as well as most of McKean Township and parts of Union Township under contracts. While many fire departments operate under the service of volunteers, GTFD is actually funded by levies and receives service from a combination of career employees, part-time employees, and volunteers. Currently, they have 10 people working for them as a career, 15 people working part-time, and 25 volunteers.

A Granville Standard of Education

Granville may operate much like any other small town in terms of government, but when it comes to education, most of the rest of Ohio can’t compare to this little village. With education listed as one of the major tenets of Granville settlers, making sure that kids have been able to learn at good schools has been paramount to the Granville community since its inception. For reference, within three of their arrival, the original settlers decided to have a log cabin built to house 80 of the local children for regular lessons. By the time 1820 rolled around, they had moved on to a three-story building that served as a public school to teach even more children.

Today, Granville’s school district serves over 2,500 students across four schools, and it is so highly esteemed, that the individual schools of the district are actually referred to as “Greenville Exempted Village Schools.” The district has recently earned the rating “Excellent with Distinction” from the Ohio State government, which is the highest classification of awards granted by the Ohio Department of Education. It is one of only four districts in all of Ohio that have met all of the state indicators since 1998. To top this off, Granville Middle School has also been recognized nationally as a Blue Ribbon School.

Granville Township is also home to one of the country’s best liberal arts colleges: Denison University. The university was founded in 1831, and since then has led countless students to explore their own independent thinking via studies in humanities, social sciences, and fine arts. And because Denison is so close to the Village of Granville, the students who attend the university are actually a pretty integral part of the Granville community. Needless to say, if you have children, or even if you’re considering becoming a student at the university, yourself, Granville has you covered.

The Granville Weekend Bucket List

In Granville, Ohio, there is no shortage of weekend activities to participate in. From golf courses to bike trails to horseback riding, you can really get in touch with your more leisurely side on the weekends. And if you’re looking for something a little more fast-paced, Granville is only a little over a thirty minute drive away from Columbus!

a mini golf course with a putting club getting read to tap a blue ball
Whether it’s mini golf or you’ve decided to take a trip out to a full 18-hole course, there are plenty of golfing options for you to enjoy in Granville. Photo from pixabay


Granville, Ohio is home to four different golf courses, each of which can do a little something different for your golfing experience. Granville Golfland, for instance, is a great place to take the kids for some mini golf that will be fun for the whole family. Even if you don’t have kids, if you’re not all that into traditional golfing, you can always get a group of friends together and go to Golfland, no kids needed. Nothing beats a little friendly competition to see who overshoots the mini golf targets the least number of times.

On the other side of things, if you are into classic golf, you can look into venturing out to the Raccoon International Golf Club. As an 18-hole course, Raccoon International offers drop-in golfing, 10-round passes, and even full year memberships! They also host weekend events for the local community, as well as some amateur tournaments for traveling golfers. Prices vary depending on what kind of experience you’re looking to purchase, but with both the membership and the 10-round pass experience, all the green fees, riding cart fees, and driving range fees will be included in the price. Their only stipulation is that any additional rounds added to the 10-round pass will cost an extra $5.00.

a view of a bike ride over handlebars
Take a ride through one of Granville’s many bike trails for a fun weekend exercise. Image from Pixabay

Bike Trails

If you feel like venturing out a little further than Granville, Ohio, you can always make a run out to the Licking County Recreational Trail. Throughout Licking County, there are over 40 miles of paved trails for you to take a nice, leisurely walk or bike ride through, as well as an unpaved trail along the Ohio Canal Greenway. You can also take a kayak or canoe out onto the Licking River on a particularly nice day. 

Licking Park offers a number of building and shelter rentals for any picnics or parties you might be considering having. You must receive a permit for any alcohol served at these sites. Unfortunately, however, Licking Park does not offer any rentals in terms of equipment, so all bikes, canoes, and kayaks will need to be owned by you or rented from someplace else.

a young person riding on the back of a horse in an outdoor enclosure
Grenoble Stables offers private lessons to people of all ages. Make an appointment to make a new horse friend! Photo from Pixabay.

Horseback Riding

Granville, Ohio is fortunate to be home to Grenoble Stables, a plot of 44 acres of land where you or your kids can go for horseback riding lessons. The stables have been in operation for over 50 years, offering riding lessons to people of all ages and familiarity with riding. Grenoble Stables gives lessons by appointment only, offering different settings for whatever place you’ll feel most comfortable riding: indoor riding, an outdoor sand ring, field riding, and even trail riding. They also offer boarding to a small selection of horses and ponies. If you’re looking to have your horse boarded, reach out to them with an inquiry at (740) 587-2035.

Bryn Du Mansion and Grounds

As far as stately New England properties go, the Bryn Du Mansion and Estate surely takes the cake. Once privately owned, the 52-acre estate is now entirely open to the community. It houses seven different buildings, including the main house, field house, gardener’s cottage, pump house, carriage house, horse barn, and laundry cottage. Today, you’ll find that the property is a great source of community, offering up space for community activities, private events, and even sports activities. It has also become quite the popular place to host business meetings, weddings, and banquets. 

As a center for rich historical intrigue, moving to Granville certainly has a lot to offer you as a new resident. Whether you’re coming for the education standards or the strong community ties or just a slower way of life, Granville has it all. And with that gorgeous New England architecture, well, who wouldn’t want to move to Granville?

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