Out with the old, in with the older!

To kick off the first month of the year we’ve done some re-arranging in our gift shop.  The piece of furniture that hosted the cash register went into storage to make room for what we believe to be the original desk from the Wheeler Store or what was also the “Little Red Store” – Framingham’s first retail store located in the Center.

We’ve enlarged the image of the store as shown in Daniel Bell’s 1808 painting of the Center Common.  The desk is approximately 200 years old and between the height and long-legged design of the piece, it definitely creates a presence here in the shop.
Next time you stop by the Edgell Memorial library be sure to check it out!


All aboard!

It’s that time of year!  We are gearing up for our annual Halloween Trolley Tour on Saturday, October 30th.   Be sure to buy your tickets early as we sold out last year!
We are working on adding some new stories to the tour and we’d love to hear of any strange tales and legends you have know of or have even experienced here in Framingham.   If you have anything to share please contact Michelle McElroy at michelle@framinghamhistory.org or call 508-872-0484.

Remembering the Ladies

Our Remember the Ladies History Roundtable was a great success with our own Senator Spilka and Representative Richardson as well as many other locally elected women in attendance. 

 Selectwoman Ginger Esty received a General Court Resolution honoring the FHC’s commemoration of the 90th anniversary of women’s suffrage and she then spoke about her family members who inspired her to seek public office.  Yellow and purple mums were placed at the marker on Mayo Collins square – a site that will be undergoing changes as Oak Street is reconfigured in the future. 

It was heartening to see a room full of women activists and to hear Representative Kathleen Reinstein from Revere express how envious she was of the number of women officials in Framingham.  Sometimes it takes an outsider to remind us of how fortunate we are to have so many willing participants in our local government – both women and men.  Once again the Framingham History Center’s roundtable providing an opportunity for dialogue around an important issue from the past.  Stay tuned for more…

Windows are back!

Well it’s been a little over a month since our windows were removed and taken down to the Kronenberger & Sons shop in Connecticut for restoration.  You probably noticed that we were boarded up for a while and I hope you notice that we now have our freshly restored windows back at the Edgell Library.  Let us know what you think…

The crew from Kronenberger & Sons Restoration were true craftsmen.  Annie Murphy and Katie Wissink from SGH (they’re overseeing the project) visited the Middletown Ct. shop to inspect the faux finish on the interior sashes and ensure a match with existing woodwork at the library.  It was a fascinating demonstration which included the expertise of Emile – an artist from the “old country” (Poland) and his mixture of stains that had the secret ingredient of beer…

Whether on site or in Connecticut, we were lucky to have a very easy going, knowledgeable and informative crew around us.  Our thanks go out to you for helping us raise the funds to hire these craftsmen to provide the workmanship this building deserves and of course to the crew for their great work. 

Window work started at Edgell

It may look closed up, but we’re still here.  Our window contractor Kronenberger & Sons came and took 22 windows out over the course of only two days!  The windows are at their shop in Watertown Connecticut getting the attention they need and deserve.  We are so fortunate to have such craftsmen working on this project. 

For those of you who voted for us last year, I hope you take pride in watching this wonderful memorial’s continued restoration. 

This project is supported by a grant from the American Express Partners in Preservation program, a partnership of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the American Express Foundation.

The March to the Vote

As I am preparing for my September program, The March to the Vote, which focuses on women’s suffrage in Framingham, I am looking for information on the following women and Suffrage organizations in Framingham.  Any photographs, letters, diaries or family stories you remember about these people or organizations would be very helpful.  Thank you!

Framingham Equal Suffrage League
Framingham Branch of the National Women’s Party:

Mrs. E. Frank Bowditch
Mrs. Jessie D Hodder (Superintendent Sherborn Women’s Reformatory)
Miss Ellen Hyde
Mrs. Sumner B. Pearmain (family owned Nobscot Mountain Tea House in Sudbury, lived on Wayside Inn Rd Framingham)
Miss Abby S. Perry
Miss Olive Mills Belches
Miss Anna M. Murphy
Miss J. A. Collins (Josephine Collins subject of story)
Mrs. A.P. Sherman
Mrs. John G. Bauld,
Mrs. Charles A. Brown,
Mrs. Agnes C. Lummus, (owned Tea Room on Pleasant Street, presumably with Miss Collins)
Miss Ellen Hyde McNair,
Mrs. George M. Smith, (mother of Edmund Ware Smith author of My Tom Sawyer Town)
Mrs. Austin E. St. Clair
Mrs. Harry P. Hastings
Mrs. William I. Mayo  (Louise Mayo subject of story)
Photos of any of Mrs. Mayo’s 7 children as kids or High School Graduates
Mrs. Edwin B. Miles
Ethel Macomber
Meta Warrick Fuller (as member of Suffrage League)

I am particularly interested in a photo of Josephine Collins Dry Goods Store in Framingham Center and the Tea Room at 66 Pleasant Street residence of Agnes Lummus as well as photos of The “Barge”, the horse drawn school bus driven by the Mayo family.

This is an exciting project and I want to cast as wide a net as possible to enrich the program.  Please email info@framinghamhistory.org with any information.
Thank you,
Libby Franck

Voting on a Metrowest Tourism and Visitors Bureau

This week, the Massachusetts House of Representatives will be possibly voting on Amendment 15 to bill # 4825.  This amendment will create a Tourism and Visitors Bureau for the Metrowest area. This would enable hotel taxes from this area to be used toward promoting tourism here in Metrowest.  Right now all of the hotel taxes go right to Boston so this would be a great help to get people to see all that we have out here.

In addition to the Framingham History Center, many arts and cultural organizations in the area have been working with the MetroWest Chamber of Commerce for the past two years to promote the creative economy in the area. 

If you are interested in supporting this amendment, please write to Representative Brian Dempsey at: Rep.BrianDempsey@hou.state.ma.us and Representative Charles Murphy at:  Rep.CharlesMurphy@hwm.state.ma.us

If you would like to cut and paste the message below, please do.  They need to hear from us. 

I am a supporter of the Framingham History Center and other MetroWest arts and cultural organizations.  As you know, the MetroWest area is a vital region of the Commonwealth. It has a vibrant arts and culture community which only a local Tourism and Visitors Bureau can adequately market.  I encourage you to support the establishment of a Metrowest Tourism and Visitors Bureau so that more can learn about cultural offerings and thereby stimulate the creative economy here and in Massachusetts.  

Thank you for your support,


Annie Murphy
Executive Director