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Franklin Historical Society-- Franklin, New Hampshire

Franklin Historical Society
October 2019

It is with a heavy heart that the Society recognizes the passing of two people who were incredibly generous in their gifts to the city they loved. David Hurst, who with his wife Carolyn, gave back to their community in so many ways. Just to name one, this past spring, when the Society needed an extending boom lift to remove the third floor vinyl siding, effect repairs to the then exposed damaged window sill, trim and clapboards,and finally cover the entire area with a new coat of paint, the Hurst’s company Beck and Bellucci stepped up with the loan of their company's equipment, delivered and picked up, making it possible to complete the work in one short week for only the cost of materials. 

The other individual was a retired deputy fire chief, former citizen of the year, long time member and contributor to the Society, historian, author, and friend. Andy Nadeau shared the Society’s goal of treasuring Franklin’s storied past and preserving all its aspects so that future generations never forget and learn from what came before. Because of Andy’s association with telling the history of Franklin, the Society will honor him this month by changing the program originally scheduled for October. On Thursday night, 7 pm, October 3rd, in the Webster/Tay House, the Society will present “A Tribute to Andy Nadeau” by showing the video made of Andy conducting a personalized tour of the Franklin Firefighters Museum. Directions to the Society’s building at 21 Holy Cross Road, Webster Place, may be found on the Society’s website, This tape was the result of a promise made to Andy to promote one of Franklin’s least known, but one of it’s most interesting attractions. Too often first responders, by being there 24/7, can be taken for granted. The museum’s exhibits transport the visitor back to the early days of the city’s firefighting capabilities, and is definitely an eye opener to a dangerous job for which the equipment is constantly evolving. There is no charge, and the event is open to all. Light refreshments will be served after the presentation and before the regular business meeting, to which all attendees are also encouraged to attend.

The Society has again been the recipient of a vast amount of material, not all completely inventoried, to be added to the growing collections. A warm “thank you” must go to the following for their thoughtfulness and support of the Society’s mission of preservation and education: Annette Cain—various newspapers with historic information and photos, and a Franklin Regional Hospital “Wellness” pin-back button, made by the Laconia State School (in one of its “sheltered workshops”, according to the sticker affixed to the pin side); Kathy Keegan Malsbenden—FHS class photos from the 1920’s, Girl Scout Troop 275 memorabilia including meeting minutes  fund raising records, and a 1989 yearbook, plus “Celtic green” St. Mary’s School jacket; Dorothy Hodgdon (from Ohio, material originally collected by Hattie Campbell, a long time teacher in Franklin, who retired to Ohio)—1889 invitation to C.L. Hunt from Mrs. F.H. Chapman to attend an art exhibit and sale, twenty two postcards and various documents (not all from Franklin), vintage photos of mostly unidentified people, a single tintype (which may be of Clarence Hunt), original poems, ad book of sheet music and amusements given out by Griffin Drugs (in the early 1900’s!), and a long (29 pages) handwritten manuscript with religious content (author unknown); Marie Creasey (from Andy Nadeau)—fifteen framed photos of fire personnel, equipment, and local fires, VHS cassettes, copies of Andy’s books, and displays of photos Andy used at his Community Day booth (which will be displayed at this month’s meeting) when selling the history books he authored.

In preparation for next year’s plant sale, the Society also wishes to thank Mary Foley for generously gifting several ceramic pots, to make the June offerings even more attractive. 

The Society’s season is rapidly coming to a close. The weekend “open hours” of the museum concluded over the Labor Day Weekend and the final meeting of the year will be next month in November, with views from Red Young’s 1930’s films (originally scheduled for this month) showing glimpses of the Smythe family at Mojalaki and on the Cog Railway. Attending one of these meetings is the best way to find out what the Society does and how you can be a part of its mission. Please consider becoming a member yourself, or giving a gift membership to relative or friend, so that the Society can continue its work of saving, teaching, and exhibiting the history of Franklin.

[This month’s photo is of Andy Nadeau and Steve Foley in 1987, in front of one of the antique pieces of equipment on display in the museum, right around the time the building was opened to the public.]