Town of Franklin Timeline


Franklin High School and field house are torn down.


Horace Mann Museum (Washington Street) is moved to the old Senior Center/Old Town Hall on West Central Street, becomes the Franklin Historical Museum.


Horace Mann Middle School is expanded.


The Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter (Public) School opens, one of the State’s first. (It is the former St. Mary School building).


Tri-county Regional Vocational Technical School is opened, off Pond and Old West Central Streets.


Milford News branch office is established in town.


The Horace Mann Museum is developed in the former South Franklin Church.

Herman Duval, founder of the Horace Mann Museum, on right.


Franklin Youth services is organized.


Calvary Baptist Church becomes Calvary Temple (nondenominational).


South Middlesex News begins local coverage of Franklin news.


FISH of Franklin, Inc., is established.

Veterans’ memorial Skating Rink opens, located off High School access road (now Panther Way)


Franklin High School opens on Oak Street (with field house), north of the previous high school.


The Franklin Newcomers club is formed.

The Council on Aging is established by town meeting vote.


Youth Hockey (Franklin Flyers) is organized.


The Grace Universalist Church (third building) is sold to Dean Junior College and demolished. The college library is constructed on the site.


The First Universalist Society of Franklin Meeting House is built on Pleasant Street, near Chestnut Street.


The Franklin Youth Soccer Association is established.


The John F. Kennedy is built on Pond Street (in honor of President Kennedy).


The Knights of Columbus Hall is built on West Central Street.


Dean celebrates its centennial, as an academy, then as a junior college. The Louis A. R. Pieri Gymnasium is dedicated.


After the Gulf of Tonkin incident, the United States sends armed forces en masse to Vietnam.


President Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas, TX.


St. John’s Episcopal Church relinquishes mission status. Its old church building on School St. is bought by Dean Junior College to be used as Center for the Performing Arts.

Franklin Rangerettes


The Calvary Baptist Chapel opens on Summer Street.


The Parmenter family, of Wachusett Street, donates land for a school, in memory of their son Gerald Murdock Parmenter, who was killed in WWII.


Welcome Wagon is introduced in town.


CYO at St. Mary’s church is formed.


The Nason Street School is discontinued.


The Moose Lodge renamed Franklin Lodge, No. 944.


World War II ends in August. Franklin’s contribution is substantial.


The Franklin Lions Club is established.


The North Franklin School (on Pond Street, now the VFW Hall) is discontinued.


The Arlington Street School is destroyed by fire, and not rebuilt.


War breaks out in Europe. The United States remains neutral.


A new Four Corners School is built, corner of King, Chestnut, and East Central Streets.


Franklin Rod & Gun Club is organized.


Headmaster Arthur W. Pierce dies of a heart attack in his office at Dean Hall.


Two brothers, Israel and Max Garelick, borrow $10,000 to buy a farm (formerly Elm Farm) on West Central Street. (by 2015, the original Garelick Brothers farmstead is New England’s largest dairy).


The Horace Mann monument is dedicated, on the site of the old Mann family homestead on East Central Street.

*pic of people next to Horace Mann monument*


The Frances Eddy King Student Fund is established (named for highly respected local teacher).


World War I monument is dedicated at Dean Academy.


Franklin High School is built (corner of West Central and Union Streets).

It later becomes a junior high school, then Davis Thayer Elementary School (named for Davis Thayer, whose straw business and store/post office were located on this property).


Electric cars are phased out


Quattro Eroi, Sons of Italy, No. 1414 is presented a charter.


The first Girl Scout troop is registered.


The Joseph G. Ray Fire Station is built on West Central Street (on the site of the current HQ fire station), a gift of Annie and Adelbert D. Thayer.


Two wings are added to the Theron Metcalf School.


Four suspected anarchists are killed in an attempt to explode a bomb at the American Woolen Co. at Nason’s Crossing.


America enters the Great War in April.

American Type Founders Company is founded on Dean Avenue (on the site of Thomson National Press).


War breaks out in Europe. The United States remains neutral.


Staples Bros., straw goods is established.

Clark-Cutler McDermott Co., is established.


Alpine Woolen Co., Enoch Waite then bought by American Felt Co.; made into a shoddy mill.


The Ray Memorial Library is dedicated (corner of Main and School Streets), in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Gordon Ray (Emily Rockwood), a gift of their daughters Lydia and Annie. Its murals are painted by Italian artist Tommaso Jurglais.

The Children’s Room on the lower level is built the following year.


Science Building is built at Dean Academy, a gift of Joseph G. Ray’s daughters.


St. Mary’s Church is destroyed by fire.

A scarlet fever epidemic closes schools and the library.


St. John’s Episcopal Church is founded (mission status)

H. Bullukian & Sons (first coal, later oil) is founded.

The Spanish-American War begins.

Electric railway is established.


The Woonsocket Call begins providing a section dedicated to Franklin news.


Harry T. Hayward Co., Inc., is founded at Nason’s Crossing on Union Street (on the present site of the Franklin Mill Store).


The Franklin Grange, a self-help organization for farmers, is chartered.


Franklin Water Co. established (later owned by J.G. Ray).


The Town celebrates its centennial. Mortimer Blake publishes “A History of the Town of Franklin”.

His centennial Address closes with:

May the patriotism, the steadfast integrity, the intelligence, and the harmony which beautify the history of the past century of this town, shine on clearer and purer into the coming centuries, as far and as long as the name of FRANKLIN, Mass., can be read !


King David Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, is instituted.


Town newspaper “The Franklin Sentinel” begins publishing.


Lydia Paine Ray, daughter of Joseph G. and Emily (Rockwood) Ray, becomes the “first lady collegiate graduate from Franklin”, graduating “with honor” from Vassar College.

he “first lady collegiate graduate from Franklin”, graduating “with honor” from Vassar College.


A new Dean Hall, built on the foundations of the original, is dedicated at Dean Academy.


The Cornerstone of the United Methodist CHurch on West Central Street, is laid on October 3rd.


The Unionville Woolen Mill (owned by brothers James P. and Joseph G. Ray) opens on the Frank B. Ray shoddy mill site.


Excelsior Lodge AT & AM Masons is formed.


The War of Rebellion (Civil War) begins. Franklin overfulfills its conscription quotas.

By war’s end in 1865, of the 98 men of Franklin who had served, 10 are dead, 13 wounded, and 7 had been taken prisoner


Diarist and Farmer George Wadsworth of Spring Street begins writing about his daily life in South Franklin


Railroads introduced to the town, through efforts of Erastus Metcalf, George W. Nason, and others; the Norfolk County Railroad is granted a charter


A Methodist meeting is first started in the Town Hall, by Rev. John M. Merrill


The Rev. Dr. Nathanael Emmons, a commanding presence in town life, dies at age 95. His residence was on the northwest corner of Main Street and (what is now) Emmons Street.


A Private high school is established opposite the northwest corner of the town common.


The first straw factory, owned by Asa and Davis Thayer, opens at the corner of Union and West Central Streets.


Straw industry introduced in town: Naomi Whipple and Hannah Metcalf of Providence discover the secret of imported European straw braid (used in straw bonnets) by unraveling the braid. Another Providence girl Sally Richmond, attends Wrentham Academy and teaches her Franklin classmates to braid.


The Congregational Church is constructed at the  foot of the Town Common (Second Building)


In response to the request for a bell, Benjamin Franklin donates books to the town named in his honor. In a letter written from Passy on April 13th, Franklin writes his cousin Jonathan Williams: “I have written to Br. Price of London, requesting him to make a choice of proper Books to commence a Library for the use of the Inhabitants of Franklin. They will be sent directly from thence.          Your affectionate uncle,

B. Franklin


Oliver Dean is born in Franklin on Feb. 18th. A successful physician in Boston and Medway, he became superintendent of the cotton mills in Medway and Amoskeag, NH.

In later years he purchased part of the farm of the deceased Nathanael Emmons, and founded an academy that bore his name.

The Treaty of Paris between Great Britain and the United States officially ends the Revolutionary War.


In Philadelphia, the Declaration of Independence is ratified on July 4th, and signed by the most delegates on August 2nd.


The Suffolk Resolves, first drafted at Dedham, is the first attempt to promote across-the-board noncompliance with British governmental authority. Delivered in person by Paul Revere to Philadelphia, the Resolves are approved by the Continental Congress.


The Oliver Pond house is built on the Taunton Road (now West Central Street).


The house occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Robert Dunn is built on Pond Street.


On December 23, after much urging by the residents of northern Wrentham, Governor Belcher signs the legislative action, as written by the General court in Boston, to create a second precinct of Wrentham.


Wrentham has increased so steadily that is divided into four districts


The first sawmill is built at Mine Brook (on what is later Grove Street, near West Central Street).


On October 17, the town of Wrentham is incorporated, named from the town of Wrentham in Suffolk, England from which some of the families came.


Ousamequin, the Massasoit (Great Sachem) of the Wampanoag tribe, and longtime ally of the settlers, dies. He is succeeded by his eldest son Wamsutta (known to the English as Alexander). Wamsutta died in 1662, and is succeeded by his younger brother Metacom (known to the English as Philip


Massachusetts Bay Colony is divided into three counties: Essex, Middlesex, and Suffolk (includes Dedham)


In reaction to religious persecution in England, Puritans flee to the New World, founding Massachusetts Bay Colony (includes Boston).

C. 6,000 BC - 1620

According to the Wrentham Historical Commission, archaeologists reveal that there has been over 8000 years of Indian habitation in this area near Lake Pearl. Many Indian artifacts have been found in what is now Franklin, but a thorough investigation of the Town’s as yet undiscovered, archeological assets remain to be done.

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New Franklin High School is built just south of the old one, opens in the fall for 2014-2015 school year.


The Delcart Recreational Area opens on Pleasant Street.


The Tot Park is opened at Fletcher Field.


Franklin News is founded.