Sunday, January 7, 2018

Annual Report 2017: Franklin Historical Commission

The Annual Report is compiled and published each year to be ready for voters to obtain at the November election. A PDF copy is also posted online and available for viewing our downloading. 

The following is a text representation of the printed pages 90-91 (actually 97-98 of 264)


The Franklin Historical Commission is a volunteer committee appointed by the Town Administrator and ratified by the Town Council. We are dedicated to maintaining, staffing, and operating the Franklin Historical Museum, and to preserving the historical assets of the Town of Franklin. Meetings are held the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 6:30 PM at the museum and are open to the public.

We have up to 7 full-time Commission members with voting privileges along with non-voting associate members.

Mary Olsson, Chair
Phyllis Malcolm,Treasurer
Bob Percy, Recording Secretary
Colette Ferguson
Connie Lawson
Richard Remillard
Jeremy Ball
Associate Members
Mary O'Neill 
Kai Olsson 
Alice Vendetti
Anyone interested in becoming an associate member of
the Historical Commission is encouraged to contact us.

The Franklin Historical Museum has been in our present location for 7 years now. The museum occupies the old Town Hall Building at 80 West Central Street, just a half block before the fire station, and across the street from the new Horace Mann Square. We continue to work to engage the community and area residents so they rely on the museum and find it a place to explore and celebrate the Town's heritage, achievements, and unique place in history.

Mission Statement
The Franklin Historical Museum is a center for community engagement, committed to facilitating the exploration of Franklin through a local, regional, and national lens, to a multigenerational audience.

Saturdays 10 AM to 1 PM;
Sundays 1 PM to 4 PM;
Thursdays 5 PM to 8 PM. During winter months (early December thru end of March) we are closed on Thursday evenings.

Museum Hosts
Commission members and volunteers keep the museum open by giving of their time to host at the Museum during our open hours. Our hosts answer questions and share their knowledge of Franklin’s history. To become a host volunteer, contact any member of the commission.

Events this past year:

Town of Franklin Birthday Party
On March 2nd we celebrated the founding of the town by inviting local town residents who share the same birthday with the town. Those birthday celebrants attending were entered into a drawing for a $100 ‘picture of Ben’. And, as with any birthday celebration, cake was served.

Horace Mann Day
Each year we recognize Franklin’s most famous son, Horace Mann, born May 4, 1796. Mann, known as the Father of Education, was a lawyer, statesman, abolitionist, and a great humanitarian. We are proud to celebrate his birthday each year and remember his noble accomplishments.

This year’s celebration was highlighted by the dedication of an oversized statue of Horace Mann across the street in the newly designated Horace Mann Square. Congratulations to all those who helped facilitate this great tribute to Franklin’s favorite son.

Hi-definition Photographs on display
A major addition to the Museum in 2017 was the iC4K Display Screen, invented and produced by Almont Green Studios of Medway. This display screen allows visitors to view and browse through large format digitized photographs of Franklin’s past.

Abraham Megerdichian - Metal Sculptures
Robert Megerdichian, son of former Franklin resident and metal sculptor Abraham Megerdichian loaned many of his father’s sculptures to the Museum and gave two memorable presentations on his father’s passion for producing detailed and finely crafted miniature cars, animals, musical instruments, and countless other miniature sculptures.

Wedding Dress Display and Speakers
Returning this year was another exquisite wedding dress display, the product of many volunteer hours. To complement the display were two separate event presentations on wedding dresses.

Franklin Downtown Partnership Events
The Commission enjoys being part in the annual events planned by the Downtown Partnership which include the Strawberry Stroll, October’s Harvest Festival, and the Holiday Stroll. The Holiday Stroll, in early December, is always a fun evening attended by Mrs. Claus reading to many wide eyed children.

Social Media
The Museum’s presence in social media is growing. In a typical week in February on our Facebook page there were 37 page views, 665 people reached, and 1,106 post engagements.

Wall Calendars
In 2017 we produced calendars of vintage Franklin photographs and key dates. Stop by and pick up your 2018 Franklin Calendar, available at the Museum Gift Shop for a nominal fee.

Area Historical Commissions and Societies Hosted at Franklin Museum
For a second year, the Franklin Historical Museum hosted area Historical Commissions for a meet and greet and informal discussion. It was well attended by the surrounding towns of Wrentham, Bellingham, Norfolk, Plainville, Millis, Foxborough, Medway, and Blackstone. We also enjoyed gathering at Plainville’s An Unlikely Story bookstore this year. It is always a pleasure to meet with our counterparts from neighboring towns.

School Participation
We encourage elementary, middle, and high school student visits to the museum to learn about Franklin throughout the course of the year. So many stories to tell! Learning about our town’s history is a wonderful gateway to history as a whole. Teachers are encouraged to contact us to make arrangements to bring their class in for a visit and hosted tour.

Demolition Requests
Under the demolition bylaw passed by the Town Council, the Historical Commission reviews any demolition request of a property built in 1930 or before. We make every attempt to encourage the preservation of any building of historical significance. We have the option to delay the demolition of a building for up to a year so that suitable alternatives can be considered. The following properties were approved for demolition:

  • 899 Upper Union St. 1850
  • 36 Plain St. 1810

This speaks to the ongoing issue of the disappearance of the Town’s historical assets.

Friends of the Franklin Historical Museum (FFHM)
The Friends, which is the fundraising arm of the museum, work to bring special events and programs to the museum. Donations to this organization are always welcome! Because the Friends is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization, all donations are tax deductible.

We also encourage people to donate items that pertain to the town’s history (such as artifacts, photographs, and written records) at the Museum during our regular hours of operation. These donations to the Friends are also tax deductible.

Thanks goes to members of the community who have helped enrich and deepen our understanding of the town’s history, and we look forward to working on additional projects in the future. We are grateful for your support and look forward to another exciting year!

Respectfully submitted,
The Franklin Historical Commission"

Contact us:

You can find the online copy at the Town of Franklin webpage

and specifically for 2017

Annual Report 2017: Franklin Historical Commission
Annual Report 2017: Franklin Historical Commission

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