Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Franklin Annual Report - 2018: Historical Commission

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 members with voting privileges along with non-voting associate members.


Mary Olsson, Chair
Phyllis Malcolm,Treasurer
Jeremy Ball, Recording Secretary
Colette Ferguson
Bob Percy
Paul Pisani
Richard Remillard

Associate Members

Mary O'Neill
Kai Olsson

The Franklin Historical Museum has been in our present location for 8 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 multi-generational audience.

WE ARE OPEN: Saturdays 10AM to 1PM; Sundays 1PM to 4PM; Thursdays 5PM to 8PM. During winter months (beginning of December thru end of March) we are closed on Thursdays.

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. (Hosting is also a great way to learn more!) To become a host volunteer, contact any member of the commission.

Some of our events this year:

Town of Franklin Birthday Party
On March 3rd 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.

Second Sunday Speaker Series
This year we are pleased to announce the founding of our Second Sunday speaker events at the Museum. On the second Sunday of each month, at 1PM, local and regional speakers share their knowledge and insight on various historical and cultural topics.

Appraisal Day
Antiques expert Nancy Wyman hosted another interesting appraisal session at the Museum in April. People discovered more about their ‘finds,’ and learned of their approximate market value.

Art Week
As part of this town-wide celebration, Dennis Ferguson performed on the Museum’s locally manufactured Trowbridge piano. Also performing were the Prolatio Singers, under the direction of Dr. Ferguson. Musician and artist Kai Olsson performed and displayed his paintings.

Little League Display
To recognize the founding of Franklin Youth Baseball in 1953, an informative and interesting display by Elaine Costello was presented in April. Some of the original players attended a kick-off reception in their honor.

Hi-definition Photographs
We are continuing to add to and refine our permanent collection of historic photographs on our 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.

Wedding Dress Display and Speakers
Returning this year, June through August, was another exquisite wedding dress display, the product of many volunteer hours. To complement the display were two separate event presentations on wedding dresses. The public was invited to submit their wedding photos to be scanned and added to our permanent collection.

Annual Events of the Downtown Partnership
The Commission enjoys being part in the annual events planned by the Downtown Partnership which include the Strawberry Festival, the Harvest Festival, and the Holiday Stroll. The Holiday Stroll is always a fun evening hosted by Mrs. Claus who reads to many wide eyed children.

Social Media
The Museum’s presence in social media continues to grow. Come join the discussion on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/FHM02038/).

Wall Calendars
In 2018 we produced calendars of old Franklin photographs and key dates. We plan to produce another for 2019, to be available at the Museum for a nominal fee.

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.

This year, the following properties were approved for demolition:

  • 300 W. Central St. 1880
  • 70 E. Central St. 1900

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

You can read the full Annual Report for 2018 online

The archive of prior year annual reports

exterior siding work is nearing completion, next up will be work to repair the cupola
exterior siding work is nearing completion, next up will be work to repair the cupola

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