Footprints of Franklin
“FOOTPRINTS OF FRANKLIN”
(A Book of Stories about Franklin’s Past)
Franklin has been my home ever since I was born and I love living here. Early members of my family have been here since the mid 1800’s on farms that have remained in our family for 100-150 years. For as long as I can remember I have heard stories of Franklin and its people, about what life was like in the past and how things have changed.
As I grew up, I too became a witness and a participant to the changes that occurred in Franklin. In the early 1950’s when the one-room schools closed and the original Ben Franklin School was built, I was among one of the first classes there. Then years later when Franklin High School opened my 8th grade class was moved into the building. Through the years I have seen farmland disappear and subdivisions built, the Industrial Park developed and the Civic Center moved to an area near my childhood home.
I also love history, especially family histories and local history. That is one reason why I found it interesting to talk to families in Franklin and do further research when writing the stories that appear in this book. So after retiring from teaching I joined the Franklin Historical Society because of that interest and because I was encouraged to do so by Al Block, founder and former President of the society. He also just happened to have been my history teacher at Franklin High School!
A few years ago I was asked by Jim Luckey, now the President of the Franklin Historical Society to write a history column for a Franklin newspaper called The Citizen (later The Chronicle). The column was called “Historically Speaking” and it included stories from the From Cabins to Condos book published by the historical society in 2006 and later stories that I had researched. Three years and 80 stories later the column ended.
When that happened I was encouraged by members of the historical society to publish these additional stories in order to preserve the history of Franklin. With a grant from WaterStone Bank this book is now possible. It is my hope that the reader will enjoy these stories and learn more about what made Franklin the city it is today.
Judeen (Nitz) Scherrer
You can also purchase the book by calling Jim or Marian Luckey at 414-421-6539 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to order and we will deliver for no charge to anyone in Franklin or surrounding communities. You can also order by going to the “Contact” page of this website and use Pay Pal to have it shipped directly to you for a total cost of $25.
On April 9th the Franklin Historical Society will host a special power point program presented by Judeen Scherer author of “ FOOTPRINTS OF FRANKLIN” a walk through Franklin’s past to the present at the Franklin Public Library 9229 W. Loomis Rd. at 1 p.m. The event will be free to the general public. For those interested Judeen’s book will be on sale. Refreshments will be served after the program, and Judeen will be available to answer any questions and sign her book.
Advice from a Barn - Mugs & Magnets
Joan Thompson has introduced a new fund-raiser for the barn project. Advice from a Barn mugs & magnets are being sold with all the proceeds going to the barn fund. The mugs sell for $15 and the magnets for $5. These items will be on sale at future FHS events or by calling Joan at (414)529-3675.
St. Peter's Chapel was built in 1869 by families who had left St. Paul's Lutheran Church on S. 51st Street. It remained open until 1883. This photo confirms that the church also served as a school for a time and that the pastor and his wife lived in the upper level. In 1983, the building was moved to the park and is now used for weddings, tours, and annual Christmas services.
On Sept. 15 the Franklin Historical Society dedicated our newest building, a smokehouse, which we used for a great cookout.
On the 4th of July Mary DeMotto and Neil Verburgt were married in the FHS St. Peters Chapel. Neil and Mary hosted an annual 4th of July picnic for family and friends. Other than their children the wedding remained a secret to everyone until their guests arrived for what they thought was just a picnic. Please follow the link below to our story page for an interesting story written by Judy Scherrer about this wedding.
On Saturday December 14 there were three non-denominational Christmas services held in our St. Peters Chapel in Lions Legend Park. After each service, cookies, snacks and beverages were served in the Old Town Hall. Live music and song of the season were enjoyed by all. All five of our historic buildings were opened for touring for the wonderful family event.
Franklin's Mayor Steve Olson (far left) officially opens the Franklin Historical Society's annual membership meeting. Pictured behind the mayor is The Community Chorus. The chorus gave an outstanding performance for the FHS members and guests!
The Franklin Historical Society hosted a Spring Barn Dance at the Hideaway on S. 76st. in Franklin to raise funds for the rebuilding of the historic Wendt family barn in the FHS historic village. Great live music was provided by Vern & The Originals.
During the City of Franklin's 4th of July celebration the FHS had this beautiful float in the parade demonstrating our historic barn building project. After the parade we opened our buildings for touring with a record number of visitors.
Steve Gyuro pictured here with help from John Borchardt of Calendia completely overhauled the Lions Legend park sign in front of our historic village. The Franklin Lions had donated the sign to the City of Franklin and the FHS many years ago. Steve made one important change by adding a replaceable center that now the picture of one of our buildings can be easily changed so we can feature different buildings.
Use the Arrows on the left or right of the image to rotate through. Enjoy.
Our chapel is available for weddings and other ceremonies. Couples interested in a quaint chapel wedding ceremony are welcome to rent the St. Peters Chapel for such a service. The chapel holds up to 50 guests and an organist is available if requested. For reservations, contact Marian Luckey at 414-421-6539 or email@example.com.
We love to show our buildings to anyone interested in a tour. If your group or organization is interested in a tour please contact us to schedule.
Whelan School Living History Experience: Teachers are invited to sign up their elementary class for a day of learning in a rural one room school setting. Contact Barbara Pforr at Bap4@earthlink.net for more details.
Tours of our grounds make great outings for Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts.