Old Towns/New Country: The First Years of a New Nation

26 September 2014 to 27 September 2014

registration required

This workshop will take place at the Edgell Memorial Library 3 Oak Street, Framingham, Massachusetts, in partnership with the Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area. It is open to teachers, librarians, archivists, members of local historical societies, and all interested local history enthusiasts.

What was it like to live in a town that had existed for years (if not a full century or more) before becoming part of a new nation in 1776? Designed for educators and local history enthusiasts, this workshop will explore some of the social, cultural, economic, and political concerns expressed by New England towns as the United States was attempting to form a new government in the 1780s and 1790s. We will discuss the truly participatory, well-informed conversations taking place in town halls and meeting places throughout the new colonies-turned-states. By turning an eye towards local politics and events we will rediscover the ways in which “ordinary people” contributed to America’s creation story. Continue reading

Summertime on the Centre Common: Free Thursday Family Programs

Appalachian Mountain Club Outdoors Rx

July 24th, 2014, 2:00 P.M.

Meet on the Centre Common

*Shine only event.

family day

The doctor’s latest prescription is for children to play outdoors! Teaming up with the Appalachian Mountain Club, the Framingham History Center is hosting an hour of historic and outdoor/nature games on the Centre Common. Great for all ages!  Continue reading

Gookin and How 1696 map

2014-06-26 10.07.25

2014-06-26 10.08.44

Map of land claimed by Samuel Gookin and Samuel How

February 11, 1696 – transcription of text:

Committees Survey of the Lands in and about Natick, claimed by Samuel Gookin and How, returned Feb. 11, 1696.

The persons that purchased land of Gookin and How

Nathaniel Stone                  5 a

David Rice                7 a

David Stone             12 a

Thomas Drury                     9 a

Thomas Walker                  12 a

John How                 34 a

John Adams             12 a

Matthew Rice                      60 a

John Bent                 3 a

Widow Pratt              7a

To the Honorable General Court now sitting – We whose names are under written, by order of this Court bearing date December 13, 1695, being ordered to survey the Land in Natick Township claimed by Mr. Samuel Gookin of Cambridge & Samuel How of Sudbury:  we have accordingly measured said land, & we find of the Land which said Gookin & How have sold and disposed of To several persons, 1700 acres full measure, which by information that we have had, the said Gookin & How have sold to the value of 156 pounds, which we account the full value of said land. We have also measured the land betwixt the aforesaid land and Sherborn line, which we have been informed has been claimed by said Gookin and How, and not disposed of, which we find to measure 1000 acres, which we value to be worth 60 pounds of which we have herein drawn a plot of the lines thereof.

We have also set out to the said Gookin and How 200 acres, according to the General Courts order, adjoining the Sudbury River at a place called Indian Head.

We have also propounded to the several persons that have purchased land of the said Gookin and How to pay something to the Indians for a confirmation of this title, but they refuse to do any thing because they have paid to the full value already as their deeds from Gookin and How will show.

Further we did notify Mr. Samuel Gookin and Mr. Samuel How of the Courts order and the time of our meeting at Natick to do the above said work.

Surveyed in January 1696,

By David Fisk

Joseph Morse

Joseph Sherman

Thomas Sawin attorney for the Indians at Natick is willing that the land next to Sherborn should pay for this survey – which charge is fifteen pounds money.

Transcription by Linda de Cougny and D.D. Ricciardi, 6-12-14

This summer’s Tom Desilets Memorial Intern

James King and Nancy Prince (2)

Volunteer Nancy Prince and Intern James King

By Maureen Moran
June 26, 2014

When he speaks of his experience in learning to transform the setting and rearrange the 18th Century portion of the permanent exhibit at the Old Academy, his eyes flash and James can scarcely contain his pride and his enthusiasm.  Clearly, James King, this summer’s  Tom Desilets Memorial Internship recipient, is in awe of  each step of the museum exhibition process. James displayed his penchant for working with local history as an intern at the FHC last spring.  Entering his senior year at Framingham State University, James hails originally from Peabody where he credits his AP History teacher, Mr. Smith, as the one who inspired in him a love of history.  As James puts it: “He changed my whole perception of history… his methods required me to think, to analyze… to love discovering the rootsof current facts, ideas and why things are so connected.”

James’ enthusiasm is unmistakable as he enumerates the importance of careful white-glove handling of each artifact; the proper way to hold and  lift and place each artifact, each farmer’s tool,  the woman’s loom, the hand-carved chairs and the oxen’s yoke.. His concern that each item be carefully spaced and displayed in ways to engage the youngest third grader and the most seasoned museum patron is especially engaging. James is quick to express gratitude to those who guided him in this unique learning experience, particularly FHC Curator, Dana Ricciardi.

Currently, supported by the tutelage of Annie Murphy and volunteer Nancy Prince, James is involved in the formidable task of examining, analyzing, and archiving, the vast Dennison Collection. According to James, he loves ”…being right in the thick of it, learning to select what is most representative of the company’s history.”  It certainly appears that the FHC has once again hired a remarkable young scholar for its Desilets Internship –chosen wisely and very well indeed.

Doors to History Open House

Saturday, June 14th, 2014, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM

The Old Academy

16 Vernon Street, Framingham, MA

Be sure to bring your kids by for scavenger hunts, photos, free coloring books, and your Doors to History passport for 12 historic sites in Greater Boston and we’ll provide the first stamppassport! This is a good chance to see our recent upgrades to the “Four Centuries of Framingham” exhibit at the Academy. The Edgell Memorial Library will not be open because it is currently under construction as we finish window restoration.

For those of you who are not familiar with this new group, Doors to History is a non-profit that connects the hidden stories and relationships between historic sites in Greater Boston. History does not ‘belong’ to a single town or city, it is intertwined through multiple locations and Doors to History is bringing those interesting connections to light.