The Village of Granville, Ohio (population 3,1670) is located in Licking County on the western edge of the Appalachian Plateau. The town was settled in 1805 by New Englanders from Granville, Massachusetts, and Granby, Connecticut, who sought more fertile farmland.
Before leaving New England, the village design was planned in great detail. Advance parties came westward early in 1805 to plant corn for the fall harvest and to erect a mill for sawing lumber and grinding corn. They also laid out the farm and village plats.
The village began to prosper and achieved early maturity in the first part of the 19th century. The Ohio Canal (Cleveland to Portsmouth) was begun in 1825 and passed through Licking County several miles east of Granville. A feeder canal was constructed and the commerce that resulted made Granville a thriving community.
Schools prospered too. Academies and colleges were founded and flourished; education eventually became the village's main business. The Granville Literary and Theological Institution (1831) later became Granville College (1845) and then Denison University (1856). It is now one of the outstanding private liberal arts colleges in the country.
In 1880 the Ohio Central Railroad came to Granville and 10 years later an interurban street railway connected the village to nearby Newark.
Today's Granville is experiencing a major building boom as the Columbus metropolitan area expands into Licking County. But Granville has maintained its ties to the past, preserving a historic district that boasts over 100 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places.
Designated a Preserve America Community in January 2006.