County: Chane County
ABOUT TOWN: Located off the Chase Pass Highway by about four miles, some would consider Granite Bend off the beaten path. That was not true in the early years when it was a rough and tumble mining town. The name of the town came from the many granite mines and quarries that once dotted the mountainsides. In current times, the town is quiet, and content.
Many of the downtown businesses are boarded up, but maintained. The parking in downtown is located in the center of two main streets, with the commercial businesses straddling the main road. It is a unique town core that the town enjoys. The downtown street once continued on several block further then they do today, but in the 1980s were torn down in hopes of attracting new commercial land for developers. That of course never happened, and to this day, the former downtown lots remain empty and filled with grass. Only a few historic buildings remain in these grassy "fields" around town. Volunteers mow the grass throughout the summer, but at times, it becomes overgrown.
Most people commute to work or do shopping in nearby Weldman. The handful of people that work in Granite Bend work at the local shops, volunteer, or work at mill. The mill employs a good amount of people in the town, and provides decent wages for hard workers.
A historic railroad station is located in downtown and still attracts a few riders daily.
Students go to one of the town's elementary schools or high school. The Beecher Valley Community College's main campus is located north in Weldman. A branch campus is located in Chaneville, about 20 miles southwest.
The town of Granite Bend has a small municipal police department that runs mostly second hand patrol cars. The department does have two barbecue's a year to get to know the public and they are popular events filled with food and festivities including an open house of the station and city hall. The town has a Fire Department which hosts an Easter Egg hunt every year, and a small medical clinic. The Chane County Sheriff's Office has a few units patrolling around the town, since their office is located in Chaneville, not too far away.
People look to the future for Granite Bend, whether it is progressing or not. The locals enjoy what they have, and seem content with it. A deadly blow would occur if something were to ever happen to the town mill, but as long as the steam keeps coming out of the chimney, everything will remain the same, just how they like it.
LOCATION: Located a few miles off the Chase Pass Highway, Granite Bend is located at the northeast corner of the county, south of Weldman, northeast of Chaneville, and west of Monitor. It is located within the easternmost portion of the Beecher Valley. Mt. Chancelor is located southeast of town.
HISTORY: The town grew around the granite mines in the mountainside. The workers needed a place to relax, so makeshift tents sprouted up and the name Granite Bend was used. Soon a railroad was built and the town grew to more permanent structures. While this occurred during the 1850s, the town was not incorporated until 1894. An avalanche took place at one of the quarries in 1902 and claimed 32 lives. This is well documented at the Beecher Valley Historical Society in Weldman or the Granite Bend Museum, downtown.
ATTRACTIONS: The nature around the town, and the hiking trails to Mt. Chancelor.
(Heavy rains do occur, and it often causes slides over the old quarries and mines. It is good to contact the local ranger's office before exploring into the wilderness.
(Granite Bend has seen better days. Some of the older neighborhoods around town can look rather run down, and some portions of the town has abandoned homes.
(The "cut-off" as it is known by locals. At this point is where the downtown was bulldozed during the 1980s to make room for new commercial development. Of course that never came and it remains empty fields to this day.
(A view of downtown and the "cut off."
(Downtown Granite Bend has seen better times, but the community does their best to keep it maintained.)