The photo above was sent to us recently and is probably the earliest known photo of Colby and never published before. It might have been taken by Joseph Squire Grant, and shows the town before the pier was installed, sometime between 1885 and 1890. The building directly in the center of the image is the Blalock Hotel, with the white IOGH Hall (Independent Order of Good Templars) just down the hill next to the water. Later, this building would become a store on the lower level. On the left, nearest the beach is the log-built store owned and operated by William Morgan. In the distance, upper right, is the original school house. This photo was provided by Doug and Ann (Levenseller) Northcutt. The original was extremely faded (see thumbnail) but was digitally corrected by Sam Bahloul.
In 2013 a wider view of the town was sent to us by the McFate family, showing the expanse and complexity of early Colby.
This detail photo (below) of the town includes some features that can be seen today. The dockside Grant Warehouse, where goods could be loaded through the water-side large door, has been recreated with a residential “cabana” today. The familiar Grant & Sons Store sits beyond, with a Model T parked in front. On the hill above the store are various homes built by John Anspaugh for the Grant families, all still sound and occupied today.
A separate feature, titled “Strolling Through Colby, Summer 1942,” written by Jo Ann, is featured in the posting section in the right-hand column. Also read the “Grant & Sons Store” feature.
The photo of the third-generation Grant sons (Joe, Fred, et al) fishing off the Colby Pier, below, is telling. Note the distinctive point of land in the background (South Colby along the water’s edge to the right, and the first signs of Harper at the point, left) and the fact that the trees are sparse. This 20 to 25-foot boat is set up for hauling nets over the rounded stern.
Below is a photo of “downtown” Colby taken from the lumber mill looking to the North, with a “Mosquito Fleet” steamer moored at the t-shaped pier. Only small fragments of these structures, including two posts from the pier and a portion of the shed shown in the foreground, survive. Just below that photograph is one of the steamer Grace, which frequented the Colby, Harper routes. The photo is highly damaged, but seems to show the heavily timbered coastline where Colchester and, further north, Manchester exist today.
A bonus photo:
Front Row left to right– George Harris, Tom Colman, Llewellyn Waterman, Raymond Bulman, Antoinette Inglebretsen, Esther Neff, Ruby Foss, Emolita Welch, Marion Rust, Stella Hamilton, Joe Grant, Fred Grant; Second Row left to right– Thomas Wood, Leonard Bulmon, John Hamilton, Paul Kuhn, Percy Waterman, Bennett Johnson, Dudley Williamson, Clarence Foss; Third Row left to right– Jeff Rust, Miss Humbert (teacher), Rose Rau, Iris Harris, Pearl Callanan, Hazel Whetstone, Alice Callanan, Alice McMillan. Photo provided courtesy of Jo Ann Grant Lorden.