Franklin Historical Society-- Franklin, New Hampshire

Current Newsletter

JULY 2017

June has almost completely gone, and with it a highly successful 2nd annual plant sale and a well attended monthly meeting.  The Society president would like to publically thank all those who volunteered to sell plants and aid buyers at the event: Annette Andreozzi, Karen Darling, Sally Bussiere, Sandra Burney, Rita Norander, Leanne Hamilton, Will Clark, and Mary Foley. Many of these volunteers also donated plants to significantly expand the varieties offered, to which list the Society extends thanks to donors Nita Tomaszewski, Elizabeth Jewell, Linda Frawley, and Linda Pauwels. This magnificent outpouring of assistance and generosity paid multiple dividends, attracting people not just to purchase new additions to their gardens, but also to tour the museum, purchase snacks, and become members themselves!

Two other notable occurrences at the June meeting: Dr. Stan Weglarz noticed the Asian art on the wall of the meeting room, and asked if such a Chinese influence was appropriate to display in “Black Dan’s house”. An interesting question deserves an adequate response, so after some research, it was determined that Daniel Webster, while Secretary of State under John Tyler, sent an emissary by the name of Caleb Cushing to China to negotiate a favorable trade agreement with that country, which resulted in the Treaty of Wanghia in 1844. So yes, Chinese-style art does have a place in Dan Webster’s home, as he was obviously in favor of opening Chinese ports to American traders. And a vote was taken of those present to decide the destination of the August field trip. Although the final tally was close, “The Fells” in Newbury was the selection, with the date to be Saturday, August 26th (more details to follow, as well as being posted on the Society’s website).

The next meeting of the Society is at 7 pm on Thursday, July 6th, and will offer an intriguing perspective on the duties and learned skills of a Civil War soldier. The presentation is entitled “School of the Soldier Manual of Arms, Loading-Firing ‘Procedures’ and Kit and Accouterments of a Union Infantrymen” by Steve Morin, member of the 5th NH Regiment of Civil War Re-enactors. The program is offered to all, with light refreshments, free of charge, at the Society’s museum located at 21 Holy Cross Road at Webster Place. Directions are always available at our website, and any questions can be directed to Leigh Webb, the Society’s president, at 932-8222.

Meaningful donations to the Society’s collections continue to pour in at an amazing rate. Such items as an c. 1840 imported ceramic serving dish (on loan from John Gile in memory of Robin Warren and actually used by his ancestors at 40 Gile Road); Franklin-related baseball caps, maps, newspapers about the city’s 1995 centennial celebrations, a 1935 NH license plate, and a 2006 signed and self-published book by Mrs. Davidson’s second graders, presented to the mayor (from His Honor David Palfrey); three postcards of the Webster Birthplace (Dee Koumarianos of the soon-to-close Daniel Webster College); a 1954 Firemen’s Dance poster (the Alton Historical Society); a copy of the 1899 NH Orphans Home Annual Report (Norman Vashaw); several personal 1925-1029 Franklin High School treasures of Dorothy Hersey LaPlante including an autograph book, WWI era family letters, WWI military buttons, a 1917 Home Guard Manual,a WWII recruiting poster, and Aiken estate receipts (Rita Norander); a 1932 FHS framed diploma for Marjorie Muriel Stott (Joya Clark and Sue Nelson); and a plethora of FHS class of 1935 memorabilia including original programs, invitations, and reunion material saved by Rita J. Vaillancourt (Annette Cain, Rita’s daughter). Although  appropriate appreciation for these wonderful gifts is difficult to put into words, the thanks is deeply felt and honestly offered.

As part of the Community Day celebration, the Society submitted an entry to the “Chair Project” organized by Annette Andreozzi and Dan Darling of the Franklin Cultural Alliance. The Project’s decorated chairs will be on display at various venues on Central Street around downtown Franklin through Labor Day. The Society’s offering is on display in Cathy Zink’s office window, festooned with vintage pictures of Franklin’s Memorial/City Hall/Opera house, area churches, and views of Webster Lake. The chair itself (see photo) was designed and built by Jim Wells, who has his own woodworking company, and donated to the Society to be suitably adorned.

On July 6th, please come join us and enjoy a very informative program on the training a Civil War soldier underwent before going into combat.

Society News