Historical Commission Sees Demolition Request on Next Agenda


The Franklin Historical Commission had their monthly meeting in the library of the Historical Museum at 80 West Central St. Wednesday evening with Chair, Mary Olsson, present along with members Randy LaRosa, Colette Ferguson, Phyllis Malcolm, and Paul Pisani. Also in attendance was “guest,” Janice Prentice, who, later in the evening, was formally appointed as an associate member of the Commission by the Town Council.

According to Olsson, one of the first matters on the agenda was a demolition request for 18 Coutu Street, which is scheduled to be discussed at the Commission’s October meeting. Under the town’s Demolition Delay Bylaw, structures slated for demolition that exceed a specific age threshold must be reviewed by the commission.

A report from the archivist, Rebecca Finnigan, who was not able to attend, included mention of the popularity of the Davis Thayer School Exhibit, put in place over the summer. Since it has generated so much attention, it has been moved to a side room, and will stay there until the arrival of a second set of donations expected from former Franklin High School teacher and Selectman Jim Johnston.

Finnigan noted that she was able to secure a preservation grant to purchase archival sleeves for photographs and various two-dimensional paper-based materials. This will help to preserve the materials and make them easier to handle.

The chair indicated she plans to attend the next two Community Preservation Committee meetings to represent the Commission.

Olsson also mentioned the success of Paul Faenza’s presentation about 9/11 on Sunday, Sept. 12, with about 60 people in attendance. The 9/11 shoes he donated are in a temporary display case pending arrival of a more appropriate case. The next speaker in the series, Stephen Puleo, will be discussing his book Voyage of Mercy, on October 10th.

Questions were raised about whether there could be a photo exhibit on farming for the Harvest Festival in October. Olsson said she would discuss this possibility with Finnigan. What is definite at this point is that about 12 vintage vehicles from the Red Devil Car club will be displayed in the parking area during the event.

Other items discussed, included:

> Cub Scout registration will be at the museum on Saturday, Sept. 18, Randy LaRosa will host.

> The FHS Class of 1971 will host a Quilts of Honor presentation to Veterans who graduated in their class. That event starts at 4:30 on Friday October 1 and will take approximately 1 hour.

> Olsson has been asked to speak to the Newcomers Club on October 20. She plans to ask the Friends of the Franklin Historical Museum for a donation of ‘entering Franklin’ magnets to give out to the Newcomers.

In the commissioner comment section, suggestions were made about trying to get a “trolley” to hold and move folding chairs for events. Colette Ferguson reiterated a suggestions made previously, to create a short explanation of how the town was named after Benjamin Franklin for posting in the museum lobby.

The video of the recent presentation on Whiting and Davis company is now viewable on Wrentham Cable 8 as well as the museum facebook page.

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