Franklin: Then and Now


It was once known as St. Peter’s Lutheran Church when it stood on its original site located on S. 68 th St., north of Rawson Avenue. Built in 1869 by German Lutherans who had left St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Franklin, the church remained in operation until the early 1880’s.

The church building was also used as a school with classes being taught by the Pastor of the church. Recently a photo showing the church on its original site was donated to the Franklin Historical Society by descendants of one of the original members. It shows the Pastor with his class in front of the church the Pastor’s wife looking out of an upper window of the church.

Then in 1983, almost 100 years from the church’s closing, the chapel was moved to the Franklin Historical Park by the Franklin Historical Society. What remains on the original site on S. 68th St. is the St. Peter’s Cemetery, where early church members and later descendants are buried.

Today the chapel is registered as a Milwaukee County Historical Landmark and is the site of the annual non­denominational Christmas services sponsored by the Franklin Historical Society. Those services are held each year on the second Saturday in December and include both German and English carols.Throughout the year the chapel is also available for rent to couples who wish to have their wedding ceremony take place in a historical setting.

Upcoming Events

Save This Date!

On Saturday Dec. 6 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. children are invited to celebrate the Christmas season by making decorations for the school house and trimming the school tree. They will learn poetry and songs of the season. On Saturday Dec. 13 the continuation of the Whelan School Program precedes the St. Peters services.

An Old-Fashioned Christmas

On Saturday Dec. 13 there will be three non-denominational services held at several times: 4:00 p.m., 5:30 p.m., and 7:00 p.m. at our St. Peters Chapel In Lions Legend Park. After each service cookies, snacks and beverages will be served in the Old Town Hall. Live music and song of the season will be enjoyed by all. The Whelan School and the Sheehan-Godsell Cabin will also be open for public touring.

What's New

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Chapel Weddings

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 luckeyjim@yahoo.com

Tours Available

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.

Living Museums

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.

Scout Outings

Tours of our grounds make great outings for Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts.