July 2019

Now that the summer is firmly upon us, the desire to “vacation” is in the forefront of everyone’s mind. The Society, in the past, has held its monthly meeting, as it always does, on the first Thursday of the month. In July, that places the meeting day squarely in competition to the activities of the Fourth of July, and therefore almost invariably insures a low attendance for any historical Society program. For that reason, a different approach to not only the July meeting, but the August field trip, has been proposed. This month, in lieu of a meeting, members are encouraged to partake of the many venues the state offers for historical edification. Should a member visit the Wright Museum, in August that person would be asked to describe and share his or her experience with the Society. Other suggestions of places to visit, or adventures to pursue, included the Pierce Homestead in Hillsboro, the Weeks Estate in Lancaster, the Telephone and Indian Museums in Warner, a Lake Winnipesaukee cruise on the Mt. Washington or mail boats, a round trip on the cog railway, or even closer to home, an arranged visit to Franklin’s own Firefighters Museum. Any photos taken would be part of the members’ talk, inspiring others to investigate the many fascinating and educational sites that NH natives so often overlook or take for granted. The Franklin Historical Society will then not meet in July, but will again gather the first Thursday in August to hear and enjoy the collective stories of its members’ July excursions. And don’t forget to stop, along the way, to read any historical markers you may encounter...

The Society wishes to acknowledge and thank the enthusiastic volunteers who sat at the Society’s booth on Community Day: Annette Cain, Ken Ackerson, and Annette Andreozzi. Any time spent informing passersby of the importance of understanding and appreciating our city’s history, is always time well spent.

At the end of May, taking advantage of the good weather and the incredible generosity of the people of Beck and Bellucci, allowing the Society use of their 65 foot boom arm lift, the west wall of the Webster Building was finally cleared of the old vinyl siding. Those to whom the Society wishes to most sincerely thank are David and Carolyn Hurst, General Manager Dale Sackett, driver Dick Peno, and engineer Chris Schroeder, for arranging to deliver and pick up the lift and to train its intended user.

The amount of actual rot was more than anticipated (see photo composite below), extending some twelve rows beneath the attic window, and encompassing the window sill and the ends of the window trim. Other areas which needed to be repaired were the roof corners, the window drip edge, and the trim board directly under the attic vent. As much of the original clapboard was salvaged, but that which was so far gone (that it simply flaked off), was replaced. The south wall, which still needs to be addressed, is above the screened-in porch and can be easily accessed by working off the porch roof. This section is now listed as next year’s project.

Two interesting items gifted to the Society arrived in June: a 19th century medicine bottle from the F.H. Chapman Pharmacy, donated by the Andover Historical Society, and a small, early 20th century card-mounted photograph of (presumably) William Gardner seated in a horse drawn sleigh, posing in front of the Tilton Town Hall, donated by Carlton Ham. As always, THANK YOU for these rare and treasured pieces.

As a reminder, if anyone wishes to help sustain the Society for future generations, the new “Planned Giving” option is outlined on the Society’s website (franklinnhhistoricalsociety.org). This program not only benefits the Society by insuring its future, but can also be of great help in establishing a solid approach to estate planning, something too often the victim of procrastination. There are many ways to give, as well as to get something meaningful in return. Below is a close-up of the 1  and 1/4 inch diameter lapel pin being offered to those members and friends of the Society as one of the “perks” given to those who pledge to participate.

[This month’s composite photo shows the ugliness that can lurk beneath vinyl siding, neglected for years. In the composite, the top is “before” and the bottom “after” the rot beneath the attic window had been repaired.]

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Franklin Historical Society-- Franklin, New Hampshire