Griswold Family Association


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During our recent deliberations on the Long Term Maintenance/Restoration Plan the house committee and Board have focused on the state of our GFA Endowment Fund. When the GFA received the bequest that enabled us to establish the fund we developed an investment strategy and our goals and objectives for the fund. With the recent economic crisis in our country the fund took a bad hit. The endowment fund was created with the primary goals of maintenance and restoration of the Michael Griswold house and to fund our genealogical research efforts.
The GFA Executive Board has been conservative with our investment philosophy and prudent with our spending. The GFA has not had another bequest since the initial one, so the fund has been slowly downsized with our operational needs.

The GFA Executive Board is currently planning and organizing a Michael Griswold House Restoration Fundraiser. We have established a goal of fundraising for some of the upcoming major restoration projects. Our plan calls for the replacement of all window sash and surrounds, and resurfacing of the house with insulation material and new clapboards. We have preserved the window sash and clapboards with TLC but have exceeded their life expectancy. Contractors recommend that we accomplish both tasks at the same time and we hope to accomplish this project within the next five years.

The GFA members can be very proud of our house and national headquarters. The house is one of the finest architectural and historical structures in the Wethersfield Historic District. We should do everything we can to preserve and protect this family treasure. We will be doing everything the Board can to stabilize our endowment fund and to seek out funding sources to assist us in our efforts.

Much of our effort in this Restoration Project will be focused on our membership. We hope to encourage members to include the GFA in their plans for wills and bequests. We hope to enlist financial memorial donations to the Michael Griswold house and to specific restoration projects. The last time the GFA sponsored a restoration fundraiser, over 20 years ago, we were very successful in raising the necessary funds to complete the project.

The details of our Restoration Project and cost estimates will be published in the first GFA Bulletin of 2010.
Richard Griswold
House Committee Chairperson
MG House restoration plans

Click here to see additional photographs of the Michael Griswold House


We received a query about the cemetery in Killingworth...
My name is Tom Lentz and I am the Municipal Historian for the Town of Killingworth. I am in the process of documenting and photographing the early gravestones of Killingworth. Many of these, especially the sandstone ones, are deteriorating and need to be documented. There are still many intact Griswold markers. I have two questions concerning Griswold gravestones.
1. Is the Margaret Griswold stone (MG 1670) in the Indian River cemetery a replica of the original and, if so, where is the original?
2. The fine Griswold memorial erected by the Griswold Family Association in the Indian River cemetery gives Edward Griswold's dates as 1607-1690, whereas most genealogies place his death on August 30, 1691.

Coralee Griswold responded:
1) According to our records: Margaret died August 23, 1670 at Clinton, originally Killingworth, CT. Her gravestone marked "M. G. 1670" is the oldest stone in the cemetery behind the Congregational Church in Clinton.
2) Edward died in his 84th year, his burial place being unknown, except it may be the vacant place next to that of Margaret. His christening records give a date of 26 Jul 1607, which would indicate he died 1691 and in fact my records state he died 30 Aug 1691 (but I'm not sure where that exact date originated from). I cannot explain why the Griswold Memorial has a different year, perhaps someone within the Association that was more involved with that can explain?

Sara French responded:
That Edward Memorial was put up in 1990. I have (somewhere!) a picture of my mother, that my father took, when we went to Clinton in search of Margaret & Edward. Mom is pointing at the M.G. stone with triumph.
Coralee added:
He was in his "84th" year according to all the records I've found. That means the death date should have been 1691, so it appears the memorial is off by a year. As Municipal Historian for the Town of Killingworth, I guess the important thing is that Tom document it properly in the records. Sara do you know if the marker for Margaret was replaced with a replica? Tom, seems to think so. It might be interesting if you found that picture with your mom, to compare against what is there today.

Does anyone else want to weigh in on this discussion? You can contact Tom Lentz by email at


Griswold Facts & Places

  • Griswold is the 3,955th most popular last name (surname) in the United States; frequency is 0.003%; percentile is 60.418
  • Griswold, Illinois, United States [Place] is in Livingston County; location is 40°54'47"N 88°21'14"W
  • Griswold, Iowa, United States [City]; population was 1,049 in 1990; housing units was 502 in 1990; location is 41°14'N 95°8'W; land area is 0.61 square miles (393 acres)
  • Griswold, Iowa, United States [Populated Place] is in Cass County; location is 41°14'6"N 95°8'14"W
  • Griswold, Maine, United States [Place] is in Aroostook County; location is 46°24'35"N 68°17'55"W
  • Griswold, New York, United States [Place] is in Chautauqua County; location is 42°22'2"N 79°13'48"W; elevation is 1,435 feet
  • Griswold, New York, United States [Place] is in Genesee County; location is 42°53'26"N 78°20'43"W



The first mill was built by Jacob Griswold in 1680. It was a woolen fulling mill believed to be the first in New England. The site was on Two Stone Brook where it crossed High Street (now named Highland Street). The successive mills at this site remained in the Griswold family for 159 years.

In 1839 the Griswoldville Manufacturing Co. was established. They produced satinelle cloth for ladies’ stockings and underwear in a three story building. In 1854 a fire broke out and destroyed most of this mill building putting 40 people out of work. In 1860 J.W. Griswold revived the company and built a large yellow brick mill building. At the time of the Civil War this mill had a government contract for woolen cloth for uniforms for the Northern soldiers. They also produced stockings, shirts and underwear. History shows that about 400 people were employed at this mill. The supervisor was Austin Standish.

Leonard Chester’s grist mill was probably the first in New England. It was built in 1637 on Mill Brook near the presently named Bell Dam. This mill later became a saw mill with an overshot wheel./ The mill was later owned by Amasa Adams and became a cider and grist mill in 1797.

In 1697 Zachariah Seymour set up another fulling mill downstream from the Chester mill.

Captain Thomas Williams built a grist mill near the mill pond in 1866; later it was under the management of John Knapp who lived on Knapp Hill.

The Justus Griswold grist mill was built in 1810. (There were four Justus Griswolds). In successive years owners of this mill, located on Griswold Pond (now named Murphy’s Pond) produced woven mill cloth and also dyed it.

Thomas Griswold built a satinet mill upstream on Two Stone Brook in 1825. They employed a Frenchman by the name of Thomas Tousley who was experienced in satinet manufacturing. The remains of this mill can be seen on Stockingmill Rd. where it crosses Two Stone Brook.

Albro Griswold (related to Jacob Griswold) and his brother-in-law Elisha Wolcott formed a company to manufacture woolen goods in 1827. They built a large brick two-story building. The company failed in 1838. A new company named the Bailey & Wolcott Co. was formed with Oliver Wolcott in 1840. The blacksmith mill produced hand forged hammers, plow shares, axes, hoes and rakes. This building burned down in 1845.

The Hewitt Mattress Mfg. Co./ was the last mill in Griswoldville. It was located on Two Stone Brook about where Maple St. crosses the brook, and was founded by Lyman & Ransom T. Hewitt in 1853. These mattresses were made from chopped up corn leaves and stalks. This miss burned down in 1894. They relocated their business near the new railroad tracks in South Wethersfield. They sold the business in 1914 to the Acme Mattress Co.

The end of the water-powered mills in Griswoldville came with the moving of people to Glastonbury and Dividend in Rocky Hill, where there were large flowing brooks year round. When steam power came into being factories could be built anywhere as they did not need brooks for water power.
Bibliography: Jared Standish
History of Ancient Wethersfield by Sherman Adams
Henry Stiles

PHOTO: Left Right
Williams Gristmill Jacob Griswold homestead



Lamoille, Nevada     From National Geographic Traveler, October 2001: Places Of A Lifetime

The Ruby Mountains - a steep, jagged wall of gray and white, shadow and light - seem painted across the horizon.  They are perhaps the most spectacular example of Nevada's unique basin-and-range landscape, dwarfing the surrounding valley.  At the foot of the Rubies, about 30 miles southeast of Elko, is the small town of Lamoille...this tiny ranching community might be the most beautiful spot in Nevada.  With its groves of aspens and cottonwoods, steepled Presbyterian church, rustic ranch houses, and fields of green, Lamoille is a postcard-image town...Be sure not to miss the 130mile scenic drive on Lamoille Canyon Road (Richard Moreno, publisher of Nevada Magazine)

The GFA Western Heritage Tour visited Elko, Nevada, in July, 2000.  Featured activities were a hike to Griswold Lake in the Ruby Mountains and a bus trip through Lamoille Canyon. 

Griswold Lake,

Ruby Mountains, Nevada


Major Joseph Griswold Homestead - Privately owned

The Major Joseph Griswold house is at 8 Old Upper Street, Buckland, Massachusetts.  This Buckland Landmark Is listed In The National Register Of Historic Places. Built in 1816 it remained in the Griswold family until 2002. The third floor ballroom was the site of Mary Lyon’s early school for young women and is accurately restored to that time period. The back porch overlooks inspiring gardens and Buckland hills.    
Antique homes and farms in western Massashusetts

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Copyright & Copy 2011, Griswold Family Association
Last update: January 26, 2011

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