Franklin Historical Society-- Franklin, New Hampshire

Current Newsletter

OCTOBER 2018​​

October is upon us, with the promise of a crescendo of color transforming the once verdant foliage all around us to the vibrant kaleidoscope of oranges, reds, and yellows for which New England is famous. October is also the month of Halloween, and in the spirit of ghosts and goblins, the Society will present Jim Prew’s “Personal Tales of the Paranormal”. Jim has been the lucky owner of more than one historical home, with some of these domiciles manifesting their former inhabitants in strange and supernatural ways. These stories, guaranteed to stiffen the hair on the back of your neck, will be related on Thursday night, the 4th of October, at 7 pm in the meeting room of the Society’s Webster/Tay House at Webster Place (21 Holy Cross Road—directions can be found on the Society’s website, All are welcome, not only to attend, but to bring and share their own harrowing tales, with the caveat that they must swear them to be true! Light refreshments will be served and an informative business meeting will follow the presentation.

Some years ago a paranormal group had asked permission to set up equipment one night in the Webster/Tay. Their interest was particularly piqued when they learned of the varied background of the building: home of Daniel Webster, but also a home for orphans, some of whom actually passed away on the premises. During the evening they proclaimed success at  contacting a “spirit”, and by way of a flashlight (a twist-on-twist-off type, set on the edge between off and on) “communicating” with it via yes and no questions (the light coming on for a “yes”), determining it was a young girl, but little else. Also they heard strange noises (one of which I attributed a faulty valve in the downstairs toilet) and a door that “opened by itself” which they captured on video tape. Of course, old out-of-plumb houses, with inherent humidity, often exhibit moving doors and popping sounds for no other reason then their age and atmospheric conditions, but it is always the audience’s prerogative to draw their own conclusions...When the group presented their findings later that year during a regular meeting, those in attendance certainly enjoyed the observations and conclusions/speculations.

As is the Society’s custom, thanks and acknowledgement are offered to the following generous donors for adding to the wealth of artifacts in the Society’s collections, and for the knowledge acquired along with these precious objects. To Glenn, Colby and Tim Morrill, for a vintage (early to mid 20th century) maple sugaring “evaporating tray”, a collection bucket with removal cover, and vintage tree taps, all to honor the rich tradition of making NH maple syrup (the Morrills make some of the best); to Janet Jurta, for continuing to add to the trove of material related to the history and the personal stories of St. Mary’s School and St. Paul’s Church, including photos of those who attended the school, and a booklet commemorating the 100th anniversary of St. Paul’s, with snapshots of Ernest Sylvester and his grocery store (which originally had been the Shepard store, on Memorial Street); to Steve and Mary Foley, long time members and Steve a former Society president, for business memorabilia including ash trays (when smoking was foolishly fashionable) from Franklin Savings Bank and Prescott Oil, a more Politically Correct FSB frisbee as well as one from the Sesquicentennial, and an FSB “piggy bank” in the shape of a drum, as well as a framed pastoral scene advertising the Franklin Dairy, and a 1978 Franklin Sesquicentennial program (particularly notable as the Society just had a slideshow of  Journal-Transcript photos of that event), a “This Is NH” book, two souvenir plates from the 25th reunion of the FHS Class of 1937, and the final edition of Franklin’s penultimate newspaper, the Telegram (The Phoenix was the final attempt at publishing a local paper, but could not find the advertising support to survive); and finally to Linda Pauwels, who continues to seek out appropriate newspaper clippings and obituaries to keep on file, honoring those who have contributed to creating Franklin’s history.

To all the above, thank you so much, and keep those donations coming!


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