Children's Museum On Track for Fall Opening


In a long-anticipated announcement, the Children’s Museum of Franklin,
an initiative launched by Erin Gallagher and Meg Hagen, revealed that the former Agway store at 157 Cottage Street will soon be revived as museum space.

“It’s a huge positive,” enthused Melanie Hamblen, who had co-owned the property since 2016 with husband Neal White.

According to Hamblen, local developer Brad Chaffee bought the building Wednesday and the Children’s Museum will be leasing the space from him.

In a message sent to museum supporters, Gallagher and Hagen wrote:

We are thrilled to announce that we’ve signed a lease for 157 Cottage Street in Franklin.

That means that, just over one year since we debuted at the Franklin Farmers Market, we’ll have achieved our goal to bring essential enrichment to our community full-time.

Let’s let that sink in for a minute.

The power of determination, passion, and community is clear.

In this space, we’ll offer interactive exhibits for kids 0-10, programming for elementary and middle school students, leadership and volunteer opportunities for high school students, and internships for college students.

This space will draw visitors from up to an hour’s drive (something we’ve already seen in our Mobile Museum events), contributing to our local economy, while providing needed enrichment for families.

We’re celebrating, but also acknowledging that we have a long way yet to go. Construction and exhibit design are on the horizon, but so are grant writing and fundraising to make it happen. We’re so glad to have your support as we move forward, and we can’t wait to share each milestone along the way.

Our goal is big. We need to raise $450,000 to get into our space this Fall through a combination of grants, sponsorships and individual donations. Every donation, from $5 to $5,000 is monumental and brings us closer to achieving our goal.

According to the town assessor, the 6400 square foot building was originally constructed in 1954 and sits on a ¾ acre lot near the intersection with Union Street and adjacent to CSX railroad property.

“I’m very happy with the outcome. To be able to have a hand in something this positive for the community, something that I have been striving for, to see a little of the vision come to fruition is wonderful,” said Hamblen. “To be able to choose who continues to build on the vision is rewarding,” she added.

* * * * * **

Gallagher and Hagen also added:

How can you help?

– become a Founding Family

donate directly or set up a fundraising page for your kiddos (complete with prizes to achieve!)

– connect us onwards with organizations, foundations and individuals you know

– spread the word far and wide!

I'm interested (1)
I disagree with this
This is unverified