Christmas Traditions in Franklin
Visit from Santa. Sat., Dec. 14, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Log Post Office
Christmas Home Tour, Dec. 15, 1 to 5 p.m.
Join us for a Victorian Christmas Home Tour with horse-drawn carriage rides. Tour begins at the Harding Museum.
Download a flier with more info about both events.
Mackinaw District Historical Marker Installed
Franklin's fourth Ohio Historical Marker was dedicated on July 6. Please see our Facebook page for pictures.
Consequences of the 1913 Flood on Franklin City, Carlisle, and Chautauqua
Monday, April 8, 6:30 p.m. Robert C. Bowman, President of the Franklin Area Historical Society, presented a talk “Consequences of the 1913 Flood on Franklin City, Carlisle, and Chautauqua,” at the Franklin Public Library.
Ohio Historical Marker Dedicated July 14, 2012
Civil War veterans from Franklin, Carlisle and Franklin Township are memorialized on an Ohio Historical Marker were dedicated Saturday, July 14.
The marker was placed at the highest point in the cemetery beside two Civil War cannons that sit above the burial site of many Civil War veterans.
The marker is the second in the past year to be dedicated in the township, and both were funded by Geoff Gorsuch, a former president of the Franklin Area Historical Society, who now works in upstate New York. Last year, Gorsuch presided over a marker dedication in the small park along the Great Miami River that honors Robert Cumming Schenck and Lewis Campbell, two prominent Franklin men who served in a variety of state national positions in the 19th century.
Before the Ohio Historical Society approved placement of official markers, considerable research has to be presented documenting the importance of the site or person being honored. The only other such site in the township is the 1805 log post office on South River Street, about 50 yards south of the Schenck-Campbell marker.
Gorsuch published a five-volume set of books on the township's men's participation in Civil War several years ago. “Franklin Township in the American Civil War” includes not only text but photos, maps, charts and graphs.
As a result, and also in recognition of his other contributions to local history, Gorsuch was awarded the 2009 Ohio Association of Historical Society Museums Achievement Award.
In all, more than 200 township men served in the Union’s armies. Among these were 25 sets of brothers and five sets of fathers and sons, according to Gorsuch.
About 120 of these Franklin men served in regiments that enlisted for three years and that performed almost all of the war’s fighting. From this group, more than 20 men died. More than 20 men were wounded, several more than once. About 30 men were captured and most of these same men suffered many months in Confederate prisoner of war camps.
The three year regiments of which the Franklin men were part participated, and suffered losses in the Battles of McDowell, Virginia; Second Manassas, Va.; Perrysville, Ky.; Stone’s River, Tenn. (all in 1862); Chancellorsville, Va.; Gettysburg, Pa.; Chickamauga, Ga.; Missionary Ridge, Tenn. (in 1863); the battles of Sherman’s overland campaign into Georgia in 1864, and the Battle of Bentonville, N.C., in 1865.
Although he lived in Franklin only about 10 years, Gorsuch left an indelible mark on local history. In addition to his most recent effort, through the historical society he published self-guided walking tour books of historic downtown Franklin, the Mackinaw Historic District, Woodhill Cemetery and a driving tour of Franklin Township. Another book, “Images of America, Franklin,” is 128 pages of historic pictures and explanations..
Harding Museum: Open for the SummerThe Harding Museum is open on Sunday afternoons from 2-5 and by appointment. Please call (937) 746-8295.
Publications by and available from Franklin Area Historical Society with 1913 Flood content
1.) Geoffrey G. Gorsuch, “Franklin Images of America”, Chapter seven, (Arcadia Publishing, Charleston SC, 2005). ISBN 0-7385-3419-6.
2.) Publication date March 30, 2013: Elli Bambakidis and Harriet Foley, “The 1913 Flood in Franklin, Ohio: A Guide” (Franklin Area Historical Society, Franklin, OH, 2013). A finding aid to the 1913 Flood collection preserved and held at the Harding Museum of the FAHS.
Memories of the 1913 Flood
“Memories of the Great 1913 Flood” is the exhibit that is on display at Harding Museum in Franklin.
The displays were put together by Phillip Elam and Tricia McEldowney, both Wright State University graduate students, who spent several months designing creating brochures and a portable exhibit.
The exhibits were unveiled in late March during a symposium on the flood at the Franklin-Springboro Public Library's Franklin facility.
The historical society has more than 700 photographs, maps, documents and newspaper clippings relating to the event. The society contracted with Elli Bambakidis of EMB Preservation Consultants to preserve and restore its collection, thanks to grants from several foundation as well as donations from historical society members.
DVDs of the flood symposium are on sale at the museum for $10.
Speakers at the event included Trudy Bell, a science/technology writer and editor and expert on the flood; Dawne Dewey, head of archives and director of public history at Wright State University; and stories about the flood as recalled by local citizens Eva Louse Polley, Tom Foley and Earl Gorsuch.
The Harding Museum is located at 302 Park Ave., the corner of Park and Elm Street, on Franklin's west side. It is open from 2 to 5 p.m. Sundays.
In addition to the flood exhibit, the museum is home to many uniforms and military memorabilia of the late Maj. Gen. E. Forrest Harding and his family, as well as artifacts from the Franklin area.
Marker Dedication Honored Campbell and Schenck
Two leading figures in national and state politics from Franklin were memorialized with an official Ohio Historical Marker during a ceremony Saturday, Sept. 24. The marker honors Lewis Davis Campbell and Robert Cumming Schenck and was unveiled by Geoffrey Gorsuch.
Gorsuch is a former Franklin resident, who was very active in the Franklin Area Historical Society during the time he lived here, working on the Department of Energy's clean-up of the Mound facility in Miamisburg. He wrote a five-volume history of Franklin and Franklin Township's involvement in the Civil War in addition to three walking tour brochures and a driving tour pamphlet of the area and the book “Images of Franklin.” Although he now works for the DOE in New York state, he provided the funding and much of the research involved in making the marker possible.
Campbell was born in 1811 in a log cabin near the site of the marker.
He left Franklin to pursue a career in journalism in Hamilton, and his success in this venture and subsequent study of law paved the way to his election to Congress. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1849 to 1858, rising to the leadership of Ohio's Know Nothing Party. During the Civil War he raised the 69th Ohio Volunteer Infantry and served as its first colonel.
In 1866, President Andrew Johnson appointed Campbell U.S. minister to Mexico. Campbell was elected of the House for another term in 1870, defeating the man who is also memorialized on the marker, Robert Cumming Schenck.
Campbell died in 1882 and is buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Hamilton.
Schenck was born in Franklin in 1809 and attended Miami University, going on to practice law in Lebanon and Dayton. He served in the U.S. House from 1843 to 1851 and resigned after contracting tuberculosis. He recovered his health in a diplomatic post in Latin America, returned to the U.S. and became an entrepreneur and was among the first Ohio supporters of Lincoln for president.. At the outbreak of the Civil War he was appointed a general in the Union Army and was seriously wounded at the Battle of Second Manassus in August 1862. The next year Schenck returned to Congress after defeating Copperhead Clement Vallandingham.
During the war, Schenck headed Congress' Military Affairs Committee and after the war, the Ways and Means Committee. After his defeat by Campbell, Schenck was appointed U.S. Minister to Great Britain by President Grant.
He died in 1890 and is buried in Dayton's Woodland Cemetery.
The only other Ohio Historical Marker in Franklin is in front of the 1805 log post office two blocks south of where the new marker will be placed.
Administered by the Ohio Historical Society, the Historical Markers Program enables Ohioans to commemorate and celebrate local history and learn more about the state. Designed to be permanent and highly visible, the historic markers are large cast-aluminum signs that tell stories about aspects of Ohio's history.