Franklin Historical Society
There is definitely a crispness in the air, the leaves have shown their brilliant fall colors, and what has survived the winds and the force of gravity show the sparseness which is the harbinger of raking first, then shoveling. Even the most frugal Yankee has begrudgingly turned on the heat in the house, as overnight temps flirting with freezing are becoming more the norm, and the wife has finally won her case that it IS cold (chilly) in the kitchen in the morning with the furnace turned off. It should be noted that less acclimated members may want to wear their coats for the November meeting at the Webster/Tay House, as the Society tries to maintain only moderate temperatures in the building to save costs. However, the more people attending, the warmer it will be!
The October program was changed from that which was previously scheduled to accommodate a tribute to Andy Nadeau, with Andy’s tour of the Franklin Firefighters’ Museum video playing to a packed and appreciative house. What was originally in that time slot will now be offered as this season’s last presentation, so on Thursday night, November 7th, at 7 pm at the Society’s museum at Webster Place the program will be more “ Films of Red Young”. (Please note the change from the “Then and Now” photos presentation, which has been deferred to next season.) Taken in the 1930’s and converted from 16 mm films donated by Porter Young to a digital medium, these films show glimpses of the Smythe family playing golf at Mojalaki and boarding the cog railway on the summit of Mount Washington, a parade on Central Street, and other vignettes. All are welcome, and as always, there is no charge. Light refreshments will be served after the showing. If no parking is available in the paved areas, please pull completely off Holy Cross Road and onto the grass to give adequate clearance for emergency vehicles and other traffic.
More donated articles have come through the Society’s doors, all with a story to tell, not just for now, but for the appreciation of future generations. The Society’s acknowledgement and thanks go to: Beverly Oram for a xeroxed copy of Nov 1902 Granite Monthly article “A Day on Webster Lake”; Adam St. Jacques for the“History of Andover 1751-1906” by John R. Eastman, 1910, and “Andover NH 1900-1965” Selectmen, 1966; Wanda Hebert for James J. Hebert’s navy ribbons, certificates, awards, medals, caps, pins, commemorating 22 years of military service, American flags, 1970 FHS ring, Eagle Scout medal and certificate, other scout memorabilia, Wanda’s FHS Class of 1946 reunion poster of graduation pictures, Marcel Hebert’s navy uniform along with a shadow box display of his ribbons, medals and navy insignia, a multitude of pin-back buttons from past Winter Carnivals, Frontier Days, and the 1995 City Centennial (via Annette Cain) and two additional pins (via Bob Desrochers), Marcel’s and James’ Honorable Service lapel pins, called by those who received them the “Wounded Duck”; Chris Lewis for two more O.A. Towne glass negatives, of a cabin and a double-exposed town square; Rita Norander for Glass piggy bank souvenir, Burleigh optic Co. glasses box with two covers—one for Alvirna LaPlante and one for Hector LaPlante 75 School St., photo of Old Peppersass 1929 and Webster Lake RR station with wonderful written commentary; Linda Pauwels for newspaper obits and articles; Annette Cain for her 1964 wedding dress and (4) wedding snapshots; Deb Brown (from John Shepard III) for two tintypes of men in uniform, one of a young woman with bicycle, and an encased ambrotype possibly of either Perry Clark (?) or Alonzo J. Sargent, as a small slip of paper pinned to the case of this photo bears both those names, one on either side.
This last item is of particular interest, as the Society acquired some years ago the diary Alonzo Sargent kept during his first term of enlistment. He reenlisted, but was not to return alive. His name is listed on the plaque of honor outside Soldiers’ Memorial Hall (city hall). Is this image the only one that exists of this hometown hero? Or is his photo the tintype of an enlisted man (the other is a lieutenant)?
The Society also tries to help those who contact us by either mail or email through the website, or by phone to the president. Two such instances occurred recently, with one gentleman wanted help finding a relative of a civil war vet whose gravesite had no headstone. The Society’s newspaper archive gave up the obituaries, but simply confirmed there were few if any relatives of the names provided. To conform to the VA’s regulations for placing a veteran's marker, a blood relative or legal representative must be the person requesting the marker, so unfortunately the Society could offer little encouragement. And a woman from South Carolina, related to the Colby’s and Noyes’, needed to know the year her grandparents had graduated from Franklin High School (it was determined to be 1903). When reached by phone, the news seemed to truly make her day.
The Society and its volunteers do so much more than just collect “old things” and champion preservation. Keeping the past alive as a learning tool of how we should approach the future is a goal worth supporting. This holiday season please consider joining and even giving as gifts memberships to friends and family. Those who revere the past, respect the challenges tomorrow will inevitably bring.
To close out this November article, the officers and board of directors would like to wish all the Happiest of Thanksgivings!
[The image this month is of the ambrotype mentioned above. If it is of Alonzo J. Sargent, it is the only one known to exist. Regardless, with an asterisk, a copy will be displayed in a place of honor next to Alonzo’s journal, as the name written on the slip was actually Alonzo’s signature.]
Franklin Historical Society-- Franklin, New Hampshire