Franklin: Then and Now
THEN AND NOW ---
MAYER IMPLEMENT CO. / CONSOLIDATED AIR CONDITIONING & HEATING
It was started by R.A. Mayer in 1917 as an Auburn and Dodge car dealer. He then decided in 1928 to sell instead Allis-Chalmers tractors and farm machinery to the local farmers. The company eventually became one of the top 5 Allis-Chalmers dealers in a 4-state area, being well known for repairing what they sold and for providing replacement parts for the older tractors.
After WWII the Mayers built their present facility and R. A. ‘s three sons, Robert, David and Gordon began to sell lawn and garden tractors and eventually snowmobiles. Franklin was becoming more suburban so the business adjusted to those lifestyle changes.
Eventually the brothers retired and the business closed in 1987. Twenty-six years ago the building became the home of Consolidated Air Conditioning & Heating, owned by Steve Olson. With the new owner the showroom display changed and even included a collection of old pot belly stoves in addition to the heating and air conditioning equipment. The business also enjoys its St. Martins location as much as the Mayer family did for all of those many years.
2015 Open House Schedule
The FHS will have four open house dates following the Free Summer Concert Series “Music in the Park” at the Lions Legend Park Bandshell. The four Sundays listed below all start at 1:30 PM. Please come to enjoy the great music, and tour our historic village from 2:30 PM to 4 PM. The FHS has added a new building the “Ludwig Outhouse” this year, and new displays have been added in the Town Hall.
June 21 - Highfield Drive - Alternative Modern County
July 19 - Vern & The Originals - Sounds of Polka
Aug. 2 - Concord Chamber Orchestra - Classic & Broadway
Aug. 16 - Liverpool 64 - The Beatles & More
Saturday 4th of July - The City of Franklin’s 4th of July Celebration grounds is right across the street from our historic village. Every year we open our buildings for touring. They are open immediately following the city’s parade from approximately 1 PM to 5 PM.
On the Monday following the April 11 annual meeting our pro- bono architect Mark Arndt sent an e-mail requesting a meeting at the storage site of the barn materials with Steve Gyuro the FHS director of buildings and grounds and myself to examine the barn wood and discuss his thoughts on the construction. From there Mark had a meeting with head of City of Franklin building inspection Fred Baumgart. Mark and our certified structural engineer Bob Latta have worked successfully with Fred in the past. Mark and myself then met at the site of the barn construction going over many details Mark needed for the design of the barn. Further details have been communicated in an e-mail a few days later.
Mark has prepared the drawings for Bob Latta to do the foundation and structural design to present to the City of Franklin sometime before the end of May. There are several steps in the process of city approval. Fortunately Mark and Bob have done work for the city and know the process, and are well regarded by city staff.
The barn project has been a great challenge for the FHS. For more information and a greater understanding of these challenges please go to our website www.franklinhistory.net where on the home page there is posted a detailed story about the barn. The barn will be built. The FHS needs your continued support.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.