Franklin Historical Society-- Franklin, New Hampshire
Regular meetings occur the first Thursday of each month at the Society's Webster Place home (21 Holy Cross Road, off Route 3. Click for directions.
Click on an event to see a photo gallery.
Highlights of Past Meetings & Events
For complete accounts, visit our Society News page.
Thursday, September 4, 2014
Hans Hug Presentation Hugely Popular
The September meeting's presentation by Scuba diver Hans Hug set an attendance record for the Society, by attracting more than 75 attendees who endured warm temperatures in the Franklin Library's upstairs meeting room to watch with great interest slides and sonar images of wrecks on the floor of Lake Winnipesaukee. Hans also displayed some of his collection of old bottles and glass insulators, dating to the late 1800's, picked from the depths of the Big Lake. Many mysteries and yet-to-be-revealed wrecks await Hans, and perhaps he will return in the future with an update of his additional discoveries.
Thursday, April 3, 2014
John Bentley on Lilacs
We welcomed John Bentley of Salisbury to the Franklin Historical Society's Webster Place building to speak about the connection of Peter Bowen's cabin and Nellie Bean to that venerable and perennial favorite of all New Englanders: the LILAC, New Hampshire's state flower! We learned the location right here in Franklin of one of the oldest lilac bushes in the country, dating back to pre-revolutionary days.
Sunday, December 8, 2013
Annual Christmas Potluck Dinner
On Sunday, December 8 the Franklin Historical Society held its traditional Christmas potluck dinner and, as in the past, it was well attended by over 30 members and friends who truly enjoyed the camaraderie and feast of appetizers, turkey dinner, and homemade desserts. Thanks are graciously extended to the Congregational-Christian Church for the use of Thompson Hall, Glenn Morrill who made the arrangements for its use, and to Syl Swett and Mary Foley for meticulously organizing the event.
Thursday, November 7, 2013
Bonnie Randall, Around Tilton
The November 7th meeting of the Society, featuring the illuminating talents of Bonnie Randall, author of "Around Tilton", explaining how she got involved in the history of the town she adopted as her home while projecting historic images of Tilton, was the last official meeting of the Society for 2013.
Thursday, October 3, 2013
Gifting Strategies for Non-profits
At the October meeting, Michelle Lauder from Wells Fargo Advisers spoke elegantly on techniques to attain sustained funding for non-profits, mentioning diverse mechanisms by which members or friends of the Society could benefit both themselves and the organization through long-term gifting strategies and estate planning. This offering was an outreach attempt to officers of other non-profits and historical societies who might also attend to learn from these approaches. However, if anyone who could not attend is interested, informational packets will be available through president Leigh Webb by calling 934-8222.
Thursday, September 5, 2013
New Hampshire Country Estates
The September meeting (a joint effort between the Historical Society and the
Franklin Library) was an unqualified success, with the NH Humanities Council speaker Cristina Ashjian skillfully weaving her narrative about a lesser-known state program in the early 1900's to lure the rich to buy vacant farms as country estates. On the 14th, the Society was visited by a gathering of the Franklin High School class of 1953 and treated to a slide show of "Then and Now" and surprised with photos of the entire class in caps and
gowns, and many members in their Sunday best while attending the 1953 Winter Carnival Ball.
Saturday, August 3, 2013
Webster-Tay Work Day
The Society's "work day" was very successful in cleaning inside the building and making the outside more presentable. The kitchen and bathroom were scrubbed, the outside vinyl siding was cleaned of green mildew, trim was painted, and the gardens were weeded, mulched, and several plants moved away from the building to prevent damage to the back porch. There is always more work to be done, but the president extends his most sincere thanks to those who brought their tools, willing hands, and indomitable spirits to the tasks at hand. Followed by a sumptuous repast in the form of a pot luck dinner, members enjoyed excellent dishes and contributed their recipes to be assembled in an Historical Society cook book sometime in the near future. Thank you to all who participated!
Thursday, May 2, 2013
Getting Personal with History
The May meeting presentation, ably offered by Franklin resident and owner of Heartstring Video Services, Dan Darling, was very well received by all those in attendance. Dan artfully explained the social, historical, and personal importance of documenting family histories on tape. With examples of his work, he effectively demonstrated the power of a family member’s recollections permanently recorded for future generations to view and appreciate.
Thursday, November 1, 2012
A Fine Dam Program for November
The Society presented Glenn Morrill, former Society President, whose family has been part of the fabric of Franklin for generations and whose encyclopedic knowledge of the city's history is legendary. Glenn talked on "The History and Importance of Franklin's Dams". Dams for many represent relief from flooding, a condition familiar to longtime residents, and documented in photos in the Society's collection going back to the most infamous events of the 1930's. However the importance of dams in Franklin goes back to the early 1800's and throughout the 19th and into the 20th century as the guarantee of continuous power for industry, and indeed the creation of Franklin as a town. The talk proved extremely illuminating.As Mr. Larter will also attest, dams contributed to the modernization of the industrial revolution by providing direct generation of electrical power as well. From these two experts, this talk is sure to be most "illuminating".
Thursday, October 4, 2012
Ushering in Fall with a Colorful Slide Show
For the October meeting the Society's home at Webster Place, color and mystery was the order of the day. A slide show was presented featuring shots of all foliage from the donated collections of Frances Gile and Jeannette Morency, plus the ever popular "Do You Know Where, What, or Who This Is?" mystery images. Not a soul was able to identify this photo!
Thursday, September 6, 2012 - 7 pm - Franklin Public Library
New Hampshire's One-Room Rural Schools: The Romance and the Reality
The September meeting was a joint venture between the Historical Society and the Franklin Public Library, hosting Steve Taylor as the guest speaker, courtesy of the NH Humanities Council. His illuminating talk on rural one room school houses was not only educational, but presented as a favorite teacher from our collective pasts might have done, with intriguing facts, a gentle tone, and a down-home sense of humor. The packed house enjoyed the talk immensely and even contributed some one room school house tales of their own, perhaps to appear in future editions of former Agricultural Commissioner Taylor's presentation.
Thursday, August 2, 2012 - 6 pm - Webster/Tay House
From our Archives & Potluck Supper
Through the generosity of individuals, the Society continues to receive old photographs and ephemera related to Franklin and its history. However, there are times when it becomes a challenge to identify faces and places.
While partaking in a potluck supper members quests were shown recently acquired items from our archives.
Kris Meinhold, Superintendent of the Franklin Cemetery Association, also spoke to the Society about Association's origins and history and of the six cemeteries the association oversees in Franklin. Kris shared some of his ideas and plans for upcoming events.
Thursday, July 5, 2012 - 7 pm - 40 Gile Road
John Gile graciously invited all members of the Society and guests to join him at his ancestral home in Franklin. John spoke to a gathering of 30, relating warmly of how he came into possession of the house and shared stories of his ancestors. A regular business meeting followed his presentation.
Thursday, June 7, 2012 - 6:30 pm - Franklin Middle School
The Franklin Middle School History Project
Chris Lewis presented the Middle School’s Grade 7 Annual History Project. Students were on hand to present their individual projects. The Society’s business meeting followed in the school library at 7:30.
Saturday, May 12, 2012 - Odell Park
Community Day Parade and Celebration
Once again, the Franklin Historical Society participated in Community Day activities with a table at Odell Park where we talked to folks about the Society and offered our books for sale. We also had post cards for sale, made from our historical photos archive.
Thursday, May 3, 2012 - 7 pm - Webster/Tay House
A Visit with Clem Lemire
Franklin native Clem Lemire recently donated a scrapbook from his days as Recreation Director in Franklin. We invited Clem to reminisce about growing up in Franklin and his subsequent career as a Recreation Director in Franklin, Newington, Connecticut, and Manchester, New Hampshire.
Thursday, April 5, 2012 - 7 pm - Webster/Tay House
Stephen W.F. Berwick – Readings from His Works of Historical Fiction
Archaeological remains found in the late 19th century at present-day Odell Park, and now housed at Dartmouth’s Hood Museum, have provided evidence that the area of present-day Franklin, New Hampshire, had been the site of a Native American village for thousands of years. What were the people like? Who were they? What were their beliefs? Where did they go? Archaeological evidence only goes so far and doesn’t always provide the answers.
Internationally-known Author Stephen W. F. Berwick, a descendant of northern New England and Quebec’s Native American peoples and European settlers, who was born in Laconia and grew up in Franklin, spent nearly fifteen years researching primary source Puritan documents, learning Abenaki traditions and customs, as well as delving into his own ancestral heritage in his search to find answers these questions.
Stephen, author of "Land of the Shapeshifter;" "Shapeshifter’s Peace – Passaconaway’s Path to Peace;" "In the Shadow of Agiocochook – More Stories from the Land of the Shapeshifter;" and soon to be released "Shapeshifted Peace – Passaconaway’s Pacification of Settlers," read excerpts from his historical fiction and poetry that offer insights into the lifestyle, beliefs and customs of the inhabitants of the village that existed for thousands of years before Franklin.
2011 Meeting & Events
Sunday, December 4, 2011 - 4 pm - Thompson Hall
Holiday Season Dinner
As we have for so many years, Franklin Historical Society Members and Friends gathered at Thompson Hall in West Franklin to enjoy a Pot-Luck Holiday Season Dinner.
Everyone attending was asked to bring non-perishable food stuffs to be donated to the local food pantry, so that the spirit of the season be extended beyond the activities of the evening.
Thursday, November 3, 2011 - 7 pm - Webster/Tay House
The Victorians: A Morbid Case for Mourning
Even though Halloween had just ended, the effect of the holiday lingered,
and in that spirit, theFranklin Historical Society presented for its
November program The Victorians: A Morbid Case for Mourning.
Linda Salatiello and Evelyn Auger from the Sanbornton Historical
Society appeared in Victorian dress to examine and explain the often
elaborate and macabre customs and rituals surrounding death during
most of the 19th century. They discussed everything you ever wanted
to know about the significance of mourning dress (made so popular
by Queen Victoria during her prolonged grief over her beloved Albert),
prints, jewelry, correspondence and burial practices in the Victorian era.
This lively and informative presentation shed light on the dark and
sometimes avoided subject of death.
Thursday, October 6, 2011 - 7 pm - Webster/Tay House
Society members learned about what we're doing to scan and catalog our enormous collection of old photos, slides, and both film and glass negatives. We also discussed upcoming activities during the business portion of the meeting.
Thursday, September 1, 2011 - 7 pm - Webster/Tay House
Living at the NH Orphan's Home
The Society proudly presented Robert Abbott and his sister, Kay Lauzi to discuss "Living at the NH Orphan's Home" with pictures and anecdotes of their time in the buildings and on the grounds. The Home, once a refuge for parentless and homeless children, is an important part of the history of Elms Farm, and no one was better suited to tell that story than two who experienced it first hand.
Thursday, August 4, 2011 - 6:30 pm - Webster/Tay House
Annual Members Pot-Luck Supper
Saturday & Sunday, July 9 & 10, 2011
Work Weekend at the Webster/Tay House
On Saturday, beginning at 10 am, volunteers focused on grounds maintenance around the Webster/Tay House and on Sunday, moved inside to work on wall repair.
Thursday, July 7, 2011 - 7 pm - Webster/Tay House
The Society's Collections
The Society's Curators, Leigh Webb and Annette Andreozzi, talked about the focus and content of our collections and the cataloging process. A general meeting followed their presentation.
Monday, July 4, 2011 - 5 pm - Home of John Gile
July 4th Celebration
John Gile hosted a July 4th Get-Together at his home at 40 Gile Road, just off Prospect Street.
Thursday, June 2, 2011 - 7 pm - Webster/Tay House
The History of the Franklin Fire Department
Deputy Chief (Retired) Andrew Nadeau recounted his experiences researching and writing theHistory of the Franklin NH Fire Department 1830-2010. This new edition was published earlier this year. Books were available for purchase and for autographs by the author.
Saturday, May 14, 2011 - Downtown Franklin
Community Day Parade and Celebration
Once again, the Franklin Historical Society participated in Community Day activities with a table at The Franklin Public Library.
In addition to offering books, pins, magnets, and T-shirts, the Society introduced and offered for sale reprints of Echoes From the Mills by author Helen LaPlante Duchesne.
Helen was on hand to talk about how she came to write the book and was available to sign copies.
Thursday, May 5, 2011 - 7 pm - Webster/Tay House
Sanborn Hall: The First Franklin Hospital
Betsy Woodman of Andover, New Hampshire offered an illustrated talk on “Sanborn Hall: The First Franklin Hospital”. As the great granddaughter of one of the Hospital's founding doctors, Betsy offered special insights into this important addition to the Franklin community of 1900.
Thursday, April 7, 2011 - 7 pm - Trip Center
Mystery Photos and Recent Additions to Our Collections
The Society's first meeting in 2011 featured a slide show of scanned photos of Franklin’s mills, some ever popular “mystery photos”, and representations of some exciting finds added to the Society’s Collections. The business portion of the meeting was dedicated to nominations to the board and of officers for 2011-2012, updating committee assignments and responsibilities, possible changes to the by-laws, and setting dates for building maintenance and work parties. This meeting was held in the TRIP Center, 30 Canal St., Franklin
Thursday May 4th the Society offered its second program of the year, a slide show of images that folks, though not willing to donate quite yet, were willing to have scanned as a digital record for the Society. Some of these pictures have never been seen before outside of the family in whose keeping they reside, so the evening provided some delightful surprises and illuminating glimpses afforded very few.