JOY, N.Y. — If you ask Bruce Farrington, not much has changed in the Hamlet of Joy in Wayne County since the 1800s, and he thinks the former resident of this house would agree.
“Maybe he’d be happy that the road is paved, but I don’t think he’d be that surprised much hasn’t changed," said Farrington.
The person he's talking about is General Gordon Granger. If that name doesn’t ring a bell, you’re not alone. Farrington says that even people who grew up across the street don’t know about this history here.
"We want to educate local people that this house and Gordon Granger played a pivotal role in our history," said Farrington.
Gen. Granger issued General Order No. 3 in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865. This is the order that freed the remaining slaves, starting the celebration of the Juneteenth holiday.
It’s something Farrington spent the last couple of years working to make known. It's work that’s gone into a historical marker.
"This sign, when I look at it represents a lot of research," Farrington said.
Every sentence on the sign tells Granger's story — a story that Farrington says Hollywood couldn’t even write.
“If you wrote a script about where would you like the name of the place of the guy who read the order that brought so much joy to them to be from, you couldn’t pick a better place than Joy, New York," said Farrington.