The Methodist church at Copper Hill was built in 1839, and in 1850 was thoroughly repaired, and moved about five rods westward. Like all Methodist churches, it has had regular changes of pastor. In the ministry of Lemuel Richardson, in 1871, there was an extensive revival of religion, attended with remarkable manifestations. The writer, at a single evening meeting in the church, which lasted from seven o’clock until midnight, witnessed as many as fifteen persons who became apparently unconscious. Some were stretched upon the floor; others were lying or being supported upon the seats. This visitation of “the Spirit” was regarded as a great blessing, and it certainly did strengthen the church in numbers. Mr. Richardson was a large, powerful man, full of strength, zeal, and boldness, and possessed of a strong, loud voice, which he used in singing as well as in preaching and prayer.
As related by Albert Carlos Bates, in the introduction to his Records of the Congregational Church in Turkey Hills: now the Town of East Granby, Connecticut, 1776-1858 (1907):
The Congregational Church in Turkey Hills, now the town of East Granby, Connecticut, is said by tradition to have been organized in 1737, the year in which the society or parish in which it is located held its first meeting. The General Assembly in October of the previous year had passed an act which divided the town of Simsbury into four ecclesiastical societies, the section previously called the “northeast corner” being established as Turkey Hills. The same year another act of the Assembly enlarged the limits of the society, by adding to it on the east a section of the town of Windsor, having a length of about four miles and known from its width as “the half mile”. In 1786, by division of the town of Simsbury, the section of Turkey Hills which had been in that town became a part of the town of Granby; and in 1854, by the same method, the section which had been in Windsor became a part of the town of Windsor Locks. On June 2, 1858, the town of East Granby was incorporated [from portions of Granby and Windsor Locks] with practically the same boundaries as the society of Turkey Hills.
The Society’s first meetinghouse was completed in 1744. The current East Granby Congregational Church is a masonry building of ashlar granite, built in 1830 by Connecticut Valley master builder, Isaac Damon, of Northampton, Massachusetts.
Viets’ Tavern is an eighteenth century building, which was much added to over the years. It is located just across the street from Old Newgate Prison in East Granby and served as an inn and tavern. According to Francis Hubbard Viets, in A Genealogy of the Viets Family (1902), Captain John Viets (1712-1777),
worked for a time with his brother Henry in the Simsbury copper mines at Newgate. It is said that while working in the mines at Newgate he met Lois Phelps, an unusually charming girl, who had come with others to visit the caverns, which, then as now, were objects of curiosity. Lois afterwards became his wife. [...] He settled on an estate near Newgate and became a farmer, store and hotel keeper, and an extensive trader. His homestead is now in possession of his descendant, Virgil E. Viets. The present house, however, or the greater part of it, was built at a later day. Tradition gives John Viets the credit of introducing potato culture into this part of Connecticut; he is said to have brought the seed from Rhode Island in his saddlebags. [...]
He was first a lieutenant and afterwards captain of militia. [...] In 1773 Captain John Viets was appointed master or keeper of Newgate prison for the ensuing year. In 1775 he was again appointed keeper of Newgate during the pleasure of the Assembly; he was paid this year for his services as keeper £149, 17s, 8½d.
As further related by Richard H. Phelps in Newgate of Connecticut: its Origins and Early History (1876):
Lieutenant Viet’s tavern, a few rods from the prison, was an especial accommodation, not only for travellers, but for the better sort of convicts. He who could muster the needful change, would prevail on some one of the guard to escort him over the way to the inn of the merry old gentleman, where his necessities and those of his escort were amply supplied at the bar.
John’s son, Luke Viets, was tavern-keeper through 1834. The tavern sign from his time displayed the date 1790. More recent estimates give a date for the Tavern of c. 1760. The unrestored tavern is now part of the state’s Old New-Gate Prison and Copper Mine site and museum.
Built around 1800, the Edmund J. Thompson, Jr. House is at 99 South Main Street in East Granby. The house has a finely-detailed Palladian window over the entrance and a later colonnaded Greek Revival portico on the south side, added around 1840. During the Revolutionary War, Edmund (or Edward) J. Thompson, Jr. served in the Connecticut Continental Line from 1779 to 1780. He later left East Granby and settled in Lowville, New York.