Historic Marker Dedication
On Memorial Day, a new historic marker for the Franklin
Cemetery will be dedicated.
Cemetery Association members donated funds to erect the
historic marker at the Scenic Drive entrance.
A While Ago
The text highlights the history of the grounds from its
establishment in 1827 to the formation of the Cemetery Society
Franklin Historical Society Newsletter April 2008
The marker is dedicated to the memory of Jim Pikulas who Those who ignore the history of past mistakes are doomed to repeat them.
was President of the Cemetery Association for fourteen years. George Congleton lived in the
A Time for Remembrance
house next door to his shop. Congleton Buggy Works
The 19th century practice of
This is the last known picture wagon repair and leased the front to a blacksmith. The top ﬂoor
Meet at the ﬂagpole in the cemetery on
Monday, May 28th at 11 A.M. Take time out
building homes on the same taken of the Buggy Works was used for painting buggies. Cummings’ sons owned the
before the ﬁre. The photo property until 1940. Here is a business card from their shop.
of your day to remember those who fought
for our freedom. Keep the meaning of
property as the workplace appeared in the Sunday,
Oakland Press magazine
Memorial Day alive. typiﬁes villages like Franklin. section on January 28, 1979.
Watch the American ﬂag rise to the top of the ﬂagpole. Few men could afford to buy Ironically, the ﬁre that ended
in the demolition of the
Sing patriotic songs. Listen to Flanders Fields and wipe
away tears. Meander the nearly 175 year old cemetery grounds two pieces of land, one for building occurred at 4 A.M.
the day before.
noting the ﬂags at veteran grave sites. Discover veterans from
every war since the War of 1812. work and one for home.
The 130 year old structure on Franklin Road was home to a gift
shop called the Village Barn. Pat Girard, owner of the building,
Many paid the ultimate sacriﬁce. We must remind ourselves lived in an apartment above the shop.
that freedom isn’t free.
A short circuit in the wiring or in a switch for outside ﬂoodlights The building has housed a variety of retail and specialty stores.
temporarily interrupted the building’s history. The Girards had an antique and patio shop. The Franklin
Greenery sold hanging baskets, oriental plants, terrariums and
Dillucena Stoughton, Franklin’s ﬁrst landowner, purchased azaleas. It also operated a mini hospital where sick plants could
the property on April 2, 1824. The land deed was signed by be treated and cured. It was once called Rohl’s Village Buggy
President John Quincy Adams. In 1849, the land fell into the Wheel. Antique china, leather work and locally created crafts
hands of George B. Congleton and remained in his grips until were sold here. The Village Barn existed at the time of the ﬁre.
1876. The Congleton name would forever be associated with
the property. For nearly 85 years, Congleton and Cummings met the villager’s
needs. The ﬁre in 1979 destroyed a building, but could not
George Congleton, a blacksmith by trade, immediately opened erase the history created there. Pat Girard was determined
a blacksmith shop and carriage business. The shop was actually to reproduce the landmark. It was rebuilt. Original materials
a pair of two story buildings in tandem. The second ﬂoor of that were not too badly burned were used in the construction.
the ﬁrst building was used for painting buggies. There was a Grant money helped to defray the cost. The bellows, wheel
ramp on the outside which helped raise and lower wagons by rim bender, wheelwright bench and anvil are on display in the
a pulley system. On the lower ﬂoor of the front building was a Franklin Historical Museum.
forge where the blacksmith worked. Buggies and wagons were
built in the rear building. History continued. Sandy Barr reopened the Village Barn. It
Mail by May 10 served the community for over 20 years. Annual quilt shows
A Pontiac Gazette article of the time depicted the blacksmith were hosted here. Local artists were featured. A purchase from
Is Enclosed and his work. . .”Through the double wooden doors, Congleton the establishment was a welcome gift.
may be seen working on a lightweight buggy. Curved pieces
of hickory wood hang over his head, drying. Congleton makes In 2001, Lori Grundy opened a restaurant called the Franklin
buggies for farmers who can afford to keep a fast trotter in the Grill. Customers could enjoy a meal on the very grounds where
barn next to their team of work horses or oxen used for heavy the “village smithy” stood!
Plant Sale hauling.”
In 2007, Jim and Ruth Kochensparger became the new
Besides making wagons for the common folk, Congleton proprietors. The building received a fresh coat of paint and the
produced nails, chains, bullet molds, yokes, rings, axles, traps, Franklin Grill opened under their management. Rub elbows
www.franklin-history.org hoes, augers, bells, shears and locks. with history. Grab a bite at the Grill and “taste” a bit of the
Richard C. Cummings, an Englishman, was the next long term
PERMIT NO. 4
U.S. POSTAGE P.O. Box 250007 Franklin, Michigan 48025 tenant on Franklin Road. He manufactured carriages, wagons
NON-PROFIT FRANKLIN HISTORICAL SOCIETY and sleighs. He used the rear building for cabinet and general
The House Next Door Franklin Historical 1,127 Children Served
George B. Congleton and his wife Martha were married in 1837 in Sussex County, New
Jersey. George brought his wife, their four daughters and his mother-in-law, Susan Morris,
to Michigan. They moved into the house next door to the Buggy Works. Congleton bought In 2002, the Franklin Historical Society opened a local history Since 2002, children have sampled history through ﬁeld
the shop in 1849, the same year that his son Harold was born. museum at the former home of Jenny and Stanley Derwich on trips to the Franklin Historical museum.
the southwest corner of 13 Mile and Kirk Lane. In addition to
The one and one half story, side gabled house with its wide frieze band windows, central Kite & Key is a publication of the exhibits about Franklin’s early history, the museum contains
chimney and lean to addition stands as a typical example of Greek Revival architecture Two programs, geared to elementary children, are offered.
Franklin Historical Society. The many documents related to buildings, people, Franklin School,
that the Congletons were familiar with back east. It was one of the ﬁrst frame buildings Franklin Historical Society seeks to archeological digs and much more. The museum is generally
built in Franklin circa 1840. open on Saturday from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM, but it’s best to call “Hats Off to Ben” highlights the life and times of Benjamin
preserve such material, structures
ahead to be sure that a volunteer is on duty (248-538-0565). Franklin. Joining the bucket brigade, playing musical
The imperfect window panes still have an occasional air and sand bubble characteristic and artifacts that help to establish the
glasses, deciphering proverbs, ﬁnding a “John Hancock,”
of glass panes over a century ago. An enclosed stairway leads to the second ﬂoor. The history of the Village of Franklin and The Society has also developed two programs for elementary using a printing press and discovering inventions introduce
basement has original log beams with bark attached and ﬁeldstone walls. A trap door in to provide for accessibility for those children – one relates to the life of early Franklin settlers and the children to the many “hats” that Franklin wore.
the ﬂoor leads to the basement. who wish to study it. The Society other is about Ben Franklin’s life. Students from West Maple
maintains a museum and archival and Detroit Country Day have attended these programs for
The school-age Congleton girls, Susan, Sarah and Jane, would have walked up the hill several years. Through hands-on activities, they learn the role of the
area at the Derwich House, 26165 13
to attend classes at the red schoolhouse on the east side of Franklin Road. Today, the cobbler, tanner, cooper, whitesmith and farrier.
Mile Road (at Kirk). Volunteers and
“school” is a private residence. Over the past two years, residents and the Franklin Foundation
donations are most welcome.
have contributed nearly $25,000 to pay for much needed “What’s My Line” focuses on early Franklin settlers. By
Congleton was a contributing member in the community. He served as one of the ﬁrst The Kite & Key and the Society improvements to the 50 year old building. A new roof and furnace stepping into the shoes of the miller, school master, post
trustees as secretary of the Cemetery Society in 1852. He also met with the new minister, welcome mail at P.O. Box 250007, have been installed. An old underground fuel storage tank has
Reverend Pitts C. Lanning, and other villagers to work out an agreement to build a church. master, doctor, homemaker, merchant, tinsmith and
Franklin, MI 48025. been removed. Many landscaping improvements have been
Previously, the services were held in homes or in the school. blacksmith, children understand how people contributed
Our phone is 248-538-0565. accomplished. Upgrades in the electrical system and installation
of new gutters are planned for this spring. There is more to to the village. Grinding wheat, reciting a lesson, folding a
Contributors: Bill & Ann Lamott
The Congletons lived in the home until he sold the Buggy Works in 1876. Then, they be done when funds are available such as upgrading museum letter, reading remedies, churning butter, visiting the store,
moved to Genesee County. George Congleton is buried in the Franklin Cemetery near his exhibits about the Fire Department and the archeological dig. doing a tinsmith project and solving a horseshoe puzzle
mother-in-law. Her marker reads “Grandma.” gives children a life experience of the pioneers.
The house next door was residential for about 130 years, then it became commercial. The Dash The Society has also developed new tours of the Historic District
and Franklin Cemetery that are offered in the spring and fall. Both programs illustrate a different period in history from
In 1972, Donald and Pauline Cronin opened a bookstore called The Horse’s Head. The
name of the store, in keeping with horses and buggies, connected it to the original Buggy
by Linda Ellis Monthly meetings are held at 7:00 PM on the second Thursday
colonial to pioneer times. If you’re interested in a blast to the
past, please consider volunteering with the school groups.
of the month at the museum. Any Villager is encouraged to
Works. It featured hard and soft-covered books, cards, wrappings and an old-fashion ice attend and get involved in museum programs.
cream parlor. I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone The Historical Society also encourages residents to support
The following year, Judy Geller and Helaine Tarnopol, both of Southﬁeld, started a retail the effort by becoming a member at a $35 annual cost or by
shop named The Rocking Horse. It was directed to the young carriage trade and located From the beginning to the end. Thank you for respecting the past and preserving it for the
contributing to the capital fund campaign. Contributions are future.
in the front of the house. In the back of the house was the Ranier Pastry and Ice Cream
But he said what mattered most of all tax deductible and should be sent to the Franklin Historical
Shop. Sweets were delivered daily from the Ranier Pastry Shop on Livernois and Seven
Was the dash between those years. Society, P. O. Box 250007, Franklin, MI 48025.
Mile in Detroit. In warm weather, guests sat outside at tables with red checked cloths and Jan Faulkner – Franklin directories and ﬁles from Helen Faulkner
a red geranium as a center piece. He noted that ﬁrst came the date of her birth Whit and Anne Jones – miscellaneous historical ﬁles
And spoke of the following date with tears. With continuing Villager support, the efforts to preserve
Franklin’s history and offer historic education can continue. McQueen family – antique wooden desk calendar
Local residents, Jane Roberts, Rose Galley and Sandra Voiken opened the Village Tea Polan family – metal bucket, washboard, Ben Franklin calendar
For that dash represents all the time More information is available at www.franklin-history.org.
Room. The lumber drying shed in the backyard was transformed into a stainless steel
kitchen. Besides serving tea, soups, salads, sandwiches and sundaes were on the menu. That she spent alive on Earth Amie Saltzman – Franklin Fare cookbook
The date nut sundae (chunks of dates and walnuts, suspended in a warm, gooey brown And now only those who loved her
sugar sauce and poured over French vanilla ice cream) must have kept customers coming Know what that little line is worth.
back for more! In the summer, the backyard was used as a tea garden with lunches served
under the shade of trees. In the shop were hand-crafted items and antiques for sale. For it matters not how much we own
The cars. . .the house. . .the cash
The next tenant was Doris Lovill. Mrs. Lovill’s Tea Kozy offered a choice of ten different What matters is how we live and love 2008 new membership dues paid through March amount to $6600 versus $7500 for 2007. If you haven’t renewed your
teas served in a china pot complete with a tea cozy. A silver try laden with Victorian sponge And how we spend our dash. membership, please do so soon. Thanks for all 2008 members who have generously supported the Historical Society.
cake, nut breads, watercress sandwiches
and crumpets was sure to please.
Their lives were more than It’s not too late to be a 2008 Franklin Historical Society Member. My dues are enclosed.
Other establishments in the Congleton Just dates and places. . .
house included Staufer’s baseball ( ) Family / Individual $35 ( ) Business $50 ( ) Life $400
card shop, Karen Shayes Handbag Franklin Cemetery Tour
Extraordinaire, Paige Stanton’s Handmade Sunday, June 1st Name: _____________________________________________________________________________________________________
Gifts, clothing and antiques and Judy 2 P.M.
Shagena’s Town Crier Antiques. Cost: $10 Address: ___________________________________________________________________________________________________
The current business, Deja Vu, is operated To hear their stories and Phone: _____________________________________________________________________________________________________
by Ruth Kochensparger and Lisa Dunn. to reserve a spot. . .
The upscale resale shop is in a building Call Bill and Ann Lamott Please mail this form and your tax deductible contribution to the Franklin Historical Society, P.O. Box 250007, Franklin, MI
that is almost 170 years old. Deja Vu! 248-538-0273 48025. Thank You.