May has been a rather busy month. With the help of several volunteers (Annette Andreozzi, Annette Cain, Yvonne Hobbs, Sandra Burney, and Rosemary Mellon) Community Day was a success, with perfect weather, netting $49 in sales and a new member! Kevin DeLange has already contributed a significant find: a box of Alice Shepard’s history books at the High School (he is a teacher there) solving a longtime mystery of what happened to all those books the Society donated years ago.

The next day, taking advantage of the blue skies and reasonable temperatures, Joel Doherty, Annette Andreozzi, Karen Darling, Randy Kovach, Jane Carey (from the state Parks system), and the Genus family helped clean up the gardens and yard around the Society’s building. 

Saturday the 27th marked the first day of the season that the museum is open to the public. From now until Labor Day weekend the Society will maintain it’s “Open Hours” every Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm. That first day ten people visited to tour the building, show off Dr. Legace’s first automobile, and purchase a couple of Dove bars. 

Then on Monday, Memorial Day, the ceremony dedicating the Martin Memorial Exhibit took place, with many Martin family members in attendance and featuring Lisa Martin, Roger S. Martin’s niece, reading from two poignant letters sent home by Roger from the South Pacific. After remembering Ray, the youngest brother, Lisa introduced Ken Merrifield who, as the Mayor in 2012, rededicated the Roger S. Martin field behind the High School. Mayor Henry Proulx had been the Mayor in 1943, and had presided over the original dedication ceremonies, so it was only fitting that his granddaughter, Kathy Fuller, was in attendance, making the circle complete.

Society News

Photo by Kathy Fuller, just some of those in attendance

Franklin Historical Society
June 2023

Current Newsletter

[Burleigh journal]

Judy Bibbins in Planning/Zoning has been going through the city’s files and turned up some very interesting items, which she has allowed the Society to digitally record. Of note were two surveys from 1903 and 1910 of the International Paper Mills. The originals are retained by the city, but the Society now at least has the images stored in memory, serving as a reminder to all, that if photos or documents of historical note are in the possession of those who do not wish, or cannot for whatever reason, donate them to the Society, please consider allowing the Society to scan them for posterity.

Photo by Leigh Webb

On Thursday, June 1st at 7 pm, President Leigh Webb will present a program about Daniel Webster’s life in Franklin, as part of the regular monthly meeting of the Society at Webster Place. Anchored by the slideshow used for Franklin’s school children, the program will expand to include some of Webster’s most famous speeches, with a bit of history related to the building in which the Society meets. There is no admission fee, with light refreshments served after the presentation and before the regular business meeting, to which all are welcome to attend. If when you arrive no space is available in the parking lots, please park completely off the pavement of Holy Cross Road to allow free access to emergency vehicles. Your cooperation is appreciated.

There is no meeting in July because of its proximity to the Independence Day holiday and family commitments, but all members are encouraged to visit historic sites in NH during the month, to expand their appreciation of the history that surrounds us.

Last month a question was posed regarding photographs of the Hoessler Wedding Anniversary party. Where was this event held? The answer was suggested by Linda Pauwels, and confirmed by comparing photographs. It was definitely at the Polish Home! The stage, backings, tin ceiling, and light fixtures all matched perfectly. Even the portrait hanging over the stage door! Mystery solved.
Donations to the Society’s collections continue to arrive. A heart felt thank you goes to: Linda Pauwels for her usual addition of interesting newspaper articles and obituaries; Annette Cain for color slides of the razing of the old Franklin Fire Station, shots of the Smith Trailer Park, and the Kevin Bryson drowning, a Albert Garneau “Official Franklin Historian” business card, a small envelope from KC Phipps Jewelers, and a sample thread from the mills of “100% Orlon Acrylic”; Randy Kovach for information on those buried in local cemeteries and notes on the Websters; Kathy Fuller for a large envelope of vintage photographs left at the Thrift Clothes Closet, dating from the late 1800’s to circa 1940—all related, or just someone’s arbitrary collection? Several were taken in Germany, NY, and in New England states, but none from Franklin, and only a handful were identified (mostly by first names only); Maj Desautel for Opera House related documents from 2004-2005; Morris Boudreau for six scrapbooks compiled by his mother Rita Beliveau Boudreau (in opening just the first one revealed newspaper articles on the Martin Field dedication!); Kris Pistoriza (Easton, NH) who mailed in a 1940 snapshot of the Franklin flood control dam construction; and Sister Diane Dupare of the Sisters of Holy Cross, for items found stored away from their time in Franklin, including an 1849-1852 journal kept by Wallace Burleigh and Henry Porter Taylor (see below), a framed 1851 note from Daniel Webster to a gentleman thanking him for his gift of a “metallic pen” (the first he had been able to use), two 4x6 glass backed images of Webster and the Birthplace, an 1895 book “Acceptance of the Statues of John Stark and Daniel Webster”, a 1960 survey of the Webster Place grounds, and a 1973 map of Franklin. The aforementioned journal has over a hundred pages, and will require considerable study!

Franklin Historical Society-- Franklin, New Hampshire