The Legacy of Tudor and Laura Holcomb
Samuel F. Holcomb and Lizzie Dewey Holcomb with their children, Tudor and Laura, January 1901 (Salmon Brook Historical Society archive).
Much of the land in West Granby that is now called The Holcomb Farm was farmed by the Holcomb Family for more than 200 years, from the mid-1700s until 1990. Early on, generations of Holcombs operated portions of the land on Simsbury Road as "Broad Hill Farm," referencing the hill that rises from the West Branch of the Salmon Brook to the farm's northwest.
In the 1900s, siblings Tudor and Laura Holcomb operated the farm, concentrating on shade tobacco and a prize dairy herd. The Holcombs tended the land well and operated a vibrant and innovative farm. In 1976, Tudor and Laura gifted the farm to the University of Connecticut. It was to be used to "further programs of the University's Connecticut College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, including protection of wildlife, the improvement of farming operations, arboretum purposes, development of crops, research involving animals and birds, and the like."
In 1990, the farm was passed from the University of Connecticut to the Town of Granby; and it is owned by the Town today. The nonprofit Friends of Holcomb Farm -- a group of dedicated volunteers -- operates a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program and a Farm Store here. They also manage the Fresh Access program (a charity that provides healthy produce to those in need); maintain more than 10 miles of woodland and meadow trails, including an educational arboretum that we call the Tree Trail; and host classes, outdoor activities, and educational lectures. Today's farm is a model of sustainabilty, where we take care of the land, the wildlife, our customers, and each other.