Granville, Ohio, was settled in 1805 by the Licking Company, a group formed in Granville, Massachusetts, and Granby Connecticut, for the purpose of emigrating west. The Old Colony Burying Ground was defined on the first town plat of Granville in 1905. Many of Granville's pioneers are interred within this ground, and the cemetery retains its original form and most of its westward facing rows of sandstone and marble gravestones. The early settlers buried here helped lay out this town and determined the appearance and development of the village as it is today. The first burial, the infant son of Ethan Bancroft, was in April 1806. The oldest extant gravestone is dated 1808. Eighteen veterans of the Revolutionary war, thirty-nine from the War of 1812, and sixteen Civil war veterans rest here along with ministers, farmers, industrialists, physicians, young mothers, children, and other citizens of Granville.
The Old Colony Burying Ground has many signed and masterfully carved monuments and gravestones that provide a history of gravestone motifs between 1808 and 1880. Found within this ground are excellent examples of the work of local carvers and sculptors, including Thomas and Rollin Hughes, Manley Whipple, and the DeBow brothers. The early markers are of locally quarried sandstone, while many of the later ones are of marble, which was shipped to Granville via the Granville Feeder from the Ohio and Erie Canal. In 1886, Charles Webster Bryant recorded and numbered the location and epitaphs of all visible gravestones, providing important historic information no longer visible today. The cemetery has been called the Old Colony Burying Ground since 1912 when the wrought-iron entrance gates were erected by the Granville Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. The Old Colony Burying Ground was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005.