Franklin Historical Society-- Franklin, New Hampshire

Current Newsletter

December 2018​​

Another year about to close, and by all accounts, a  successful one for the Society. Projects were (mostly) completed (the vinyl siding removal of the west facing wall will be delayed until spring for want of tall enough lift and very questionable weather), entertaining programs were offered, the reunion of the FHS Class of 1958 was hosted with a special slide show, new exhibits put on display, the annual talk on Daniel Webster was presented to all Franklin fourth graders, and the collections were enhanced with an incredible influx of significant donations. The Christmas spirit is alive and well, manifesting itself as it does every year, in the form of the annual potluck dinner for members, friends, and family in December. Two turkeys will be cooked by volunteers Glenn Morrill (who is also responsible for reserving Thompson Hall as the venue) and Elizabeth Jewell, garlic mashed potatoes will be provided by the usual suspect, and all the rest of the  fixings will be brought by attendees. Non-perishable foodstuffs again will be collected for the local food pantry, and camaraderie will warm the hall better than any space heater. Social hour will begin at 4 pm on Sunday December 9th, with dinner being served buffet-style at 5. This is not a monthly meeting, as no business will be on the agenda, just a celebratory event to thank one and all for their participation in helping to save Franklin’s history for future generations to understand, and to appreciate.

Should there still be gaps on your Christmas shopping list, remember that the Society offers the Alice Shepard “History of Franklin”with an interesting selection of other books, including the Society’s own cookbook, filled with historic photos, stories, factoids, and of course, wonderful recipes. You might even want a collectible Sesquicentennial plate, or a gift membership. For pricing information or to purchase any of the aforementioned items, simply contact president Leigh Webb at 934-8222, to arrange pick-up or delivery.

Since the final 2018 meeting in November, more incredible gifts have arrived for which the Society wishes to acknowledge and thank the donors: from Carlton Ham, a laminator, early maps of Franklin (to be used as giveaways to encourage new memberships), Steenbecke and Camp & Hill aprons (once used to collect money during the annual Society Faire, when both companies still existed, and now have become collectors’ items), Society newsletters from the 1980’s, a partial box of Clara Clarkson’s notecards with her drawing of the Webster one-room schoolhouse (the Society has the framed original), and a 1968 city directory [of note, Carlton also gave the Society a Keurig coffee maker with stir sticks, creamer, sugar packets, and K-cups, as well as a water cooler, which the Society deemed would be of greatest value if given to Thompson Hall, as a thank you for allowing our dinner to be held there year after year]; from Ellie and Howard George (via Rita Norander) two small books—a 1928 pocket dictionary with a leather cover “Franklin, N.H.” and a snapshot album with a leather cover featuring the Daniel Webster Birthplace; from Annette Cain, a Franklin Savings Bank “canceled check file” (remember when canceled checks were actually returned to the account holder, not relegated to permanent deletion, and now such a file box is considered “historic”?) and a “Franklin the Heart of NH” mug; from Andy Nadeau, his source material in five three-ring binders for the writing of his “The History of the Franklin Fire Department” as well as folders of some original (see a sample on the Society’s FaceBook page) and many paper copies of photos, along with a typed manuscript of “Franklin’s Railroads”; from Brenda Petelle (via Cameron Temple), a personalized “Food Service Director of the Franklin School District” Franklin Centennial (1995) license plate; and from Joseph Rondeau of Massachusetts, a virtual treasure trove of Daniel Webster material, including some thirty seven books either by or about Mr. Webster, twenty printed pamphlets of Webster’s speeches (with an 1882 printing of a oratory delivered in Fryeburg Maine on July 4th, 1802, when Webster was only twenty years old!), an important and early 1814 speech, his spoken thoughts on the Compromise of 1850, and an 1837 speech given at “Niblo’s Saloon” in NY, intoning the words “One country, one constitution, one destiny” while decrying a perceived abuse of Executive power, plus eulogies offered after his death, and a handwritten letter by Webster to William Sullivan, a prominent lawyer in Boston. Gifts such as these represent overwhelming generosity, for which a simple “thank you” seems woefully inadequate. The Society expresses its deepest and most sincere gratitude to all these donors.

May the upcoming holidays bring families together, joy to the hearts of all, and peace and brotherhood to all people.

[This month’s image, to be true to the season, is of the First Place trophy incorporating a photo of the Rotary Club’s float entry into the 1982 Franklin Santa Claus parade. Donated by Carlton Ham]

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