Framingham History Center

Framingham History Center The Framingham History Center [formerly the Framingham Historical and Natural History Society] is a non-profit 501c3 organization (not a municipal entity) whose mission is to preserve and share Framingham's history.
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The Framingham History Center consists of three buildings: The Academy Museum at 16 Vernon Street houses a 3-floor permanent "Framingham Timeline" exhibition and research library and is presently open by appointment. Historic Village Hall at 2 Oak Street is a beautiful banquet facility available for rental for functions, performances and other meetings. Edgell Memorial Library at 3 Oak Street is a memorial building to Framingham's Civil War veterans, and showcases our revolving exhibitions. Our permanent exhibition is "Framingham Remembers... The Civil War", available Monday through Friday, 10-4 p.m. Admission is free for members, $5 for non members. For more info, visit our website at www.framinghamhistory.org

Shout out to Don Cavicchi and Cav Audio Video Design for generously installing a hanging projector screen at the Village...
01/07/2020

Shout out to Don Cavicchi and Cav Audio Video Design for generously installing a hanging projector screen at the Village Hall On The Common yesterday. Thank you for helping us take the first step in streamlining our presentations and programming!

Who enjoyed entertainment and good food at The Meadows? The popular nightclub and restaurant was built by singer Vaughn ...
01/06/2020

Who enjoyed entertainment and good food at The Meadows? The popular nightclub and restaurant was built by singer Vaughn Monroe in 1940 until his death in 1973.

,This plate in the FHC Collection was made by Morris Gordon & Son, circa 1950. More on the Meadows: http://bit.ly/2QyFqHo

#funfactfriday: During the first years of the Framingham History Center’s incorporation in 1888 (known then as the Frami...
01/03/2020

#funfactfriday: During the first years of the Framingham History Center’s incorporation in 1888 (known then as the Framingham Historical and Natural History Society) the newly acquired artifacts did not have a permanent home. A small collection of old books and historical curiosities were temporarily stored at the home of the society’s first secretary, Willard Howe. As the collection grew, the society members began searching for more space. The Manson Building on Concord Street, a brick building in the Richardsonian Romanesque style, was built in 1891 and offered secure rooms for the collection within the upper floors of the building. The artifacts remained downtown until 1915 when the new Jonathan Maynard School was completed, and the old Framingham Academy became the permanent home for the museum.

Images: Willard Howe House, Concord St. (FHC Collection), Manson and Concord Blocks, and current day Google image of Manson and Concord Blocks.

Let's welcome 2020 in with a bang! We wish all our Facebook friends a happy and healthy New Year. Trench explosion durin...
01/01/2020

Let's welcome 2020 in with a bang! We wish all our Facebook friends a happy and healthy New Year.

Trench explosion during training for 9th Regiment in Framingham, August 1917, Leslie Jones Collection, http://bit.ly/35DDd3v

Wouldn't it be great to ride in a horse drawn sleigh around Framingham? Image: Dennison Manufacturing Company sleigh for...
12/31/2019

Wouldn't it be great to ride in a horse drawn sleigh around Framingham?

Image: Dennison Manufacturing Company sleigh for delivering packages, late 1800s.

"Framingham's Top 10" exhibition is open today from 1-4pm! Share some rare Framingham history with family and friends ho...
12/28/2019

"Framingham's Top 10" exhibition is open today from 1-4pm! Share some rare Framingham history with family and friends home for the holidays. Located at the Edgell Memorial Library, 3 Oak Street.

Looking for something to do tomorrow with friends and family home for the holidays between 1-4pm? "Framingham's Top 10" ...
12/27/2019

Looking for something to do tomorrow with friends and family home for the holidays between 1-4pm? "Framingham's Top 10" exhibition has something for everyone – paintings, sculpture, documents, clothing, Americana, music, and neon.

Location: Edgell Memorial Library, 3 Oak Street. Parking on Oak and Library Streets
Admission: $5/Adults, $2/FSU students, free/FHC Members & children under 18

From our cookbook collection, a gingerbread recipe from the 1951 "Tasty Recipes from Plymouth Church, Framingham Centre....
12/24/2019

From our cookbook collection, a gingerbread recipe from the 1951 "Tasty Recipes from Plymouth Church, Framingham Centre."

Happy Holidays to all!

Scrolling through the Digital Commonwealth collection I came across these three women in front of the Wallace Nutting fa...
12/23/2019

Scrolling through the Digital Commonwealth collection I came across these three women in front of the Wallace Nutting factory. Many people may not know that it is still standing at 46 Park Street!

The building was built in 1873 for the Curtis H. Barber straw manufacturing company until 1916. Wallace Nutting purchased it in 1924 and for the next 20 years made antique furniture reproductions as well as hand tinted photographs.

Image: "Mrs. Bunker, Miss Gertrude Gould, Miss Hattie Ells after dinner at the Abner Wheeler House we visited the furniture factory of Wallace Nutting in Framingham, May 5, 1937" Ellen F. O'Connor Collection. http://bit.ly/38UHZM6

The second image is a Google street view taken in 2019

The exhibit is open TODAY and the Shoppers' World sign will be aglow! Don't miss out on this festive afternoon.What? "Fr...
12/21/2019
Holiday Greeting 2019 - Framingham History Center

The exhibit is open TODAY and the Shoppers' World sign will be aglow! Don't miss out on this festive afternoon.

What? "Framingham's Top 10 Exhibition"
Location: Edgell Memorial Library, 3 Oak Street
Hours: 1-4pm
Admission: $5/adults, $/2 FSU students, free for FHC members and children under 18

#funfactfriday: Late in 1955, the old Framingham incinerator was demolished and it was dramatically caught on camera. Me...
12/20/2019

#funfactfriday: Late in 1955, the old Framingham incinerator was demolished and it was dramatically caught on camera. Men took sledgehammers to the lower left section of the brick tower prior to demolition (first image) and then knocked out a few more bricks before the tower gave way (second image). The first incinerator was in use from 1949-1955 and was only a 20-ton unit. Due to the rapid increase in population post-WWII, the new 1956 incinerator consisted of two 100-ton units. However, the town quickly outgrew these units as well and by 1973 two 250-ton units were installed.

Images: FHC Collections. Framingham Public Works

Find out how Collections Manager Rebecca took a nearly impossible object to store and gave it new...legs!
12/19/2019
Spotlight on Collections: What Am I Going to Do With You? - Framingham History Center

Find out how Collections Manager Rebecca took a nearly impossible object to store and gave it new...legs!

By Rebecca Helgeson, Collections Manager Collections management, like most jobs, consists of many different tasks. Organizing, data entry, processing new accessions, and dealing with pests are all important, but one of the most important parts of my job is making sure that each item is stored proper...

Who purchased one of these 300th anniversary blankets in 2000? We noticed that the date of the Village Hall is off by 13...
12/18/2019

Who purchased one of these 300th anniversary blankets in 2000?

We noticed that the date of the Village Hall is off by 13 years - it should read 1834.

With just 5 days to Hanukkah, 8 days to Christmas, and 9 days to Kwanzaa, the Dennison Manufacturing Company would be pr...
12/17/2019

With just 5 days to Hanukkah, 8 days to Christmas, and 9 days to Kwanzaa, the Dennison Manufacturing Company would be producing thousands of tags, napkins, wrapping paper, decorations, etc. a day! We can just imagine the atmosphere as the holidays tick closer...

Image: Napkin Cutting, Dept. 21, Building 5, 1900. FHC Collection.

Collections Manager Rebecca has been working on new labels for parts of the collection. She is currently sewing permanen...
12/16/2019

Collections Manager Rebecca has been working on new labels for parts of the collection. She is currently sewing permanent labels into our parasols and umbrellas. These labels are not truly permanent however. In all collection work, you have to be able to reverse any numbering or labeling otherwise you have changed the integrity of the artifact. Rebecca’s sewn in label can be snipped out at any time, but it also won’t fall off easily.

The "Framingham's Top 10" exhibition is open today from 1-4pm! Discover the ten most rare and important artifacts from o...
12/14/2019

The "Framingham's Top 10" exhibition is open today from 1-4pm! Discover the ten most rare and important artifacts from our collection holdings all in one space.

Located at 3 Oak Street, admission is $5/non-members, $2/FSU students, and free for members and children under 18.

#funfactfriday: Before it was Nobscot Mountain the hilly terrain was called Nobscot and Doeskin Hill. The name Nobscot w...
12/13/2019

#funfactfriday: Before it was Nobscot Mountain the hilly terrain was called Nobscot and Doeskin Hill. The name Nobscot was given by the Nipmuc Native Americans; it derives from the Algonquin word Penobscot, which means "the place where the rocks open out.” Doeskin Hill was given its name thanks to one man and his clumsiness. In the late 1690s a Mr. Pelham was hiking the area and lost a doeskin glove on said hill. According to Josiah Temple’s history, “Mr. Pelham said this hill shall be called Doeskin hill.”

Sometimes name origins are not so exciting!

Discover Framingham's most important and rare artifacts this Saturday between 1 and 4pm. "Framingham's Top 10" exhibit i...
12/12/2019

Discover Framingham's most important and rare artifacts this Saturday between 1 and 4pm. "Framingham's Top 10" exhibit is open Wednesday through Saturday for self-guided tours. Free for FHC members, $5 for adults, $2 for FSU students!

Accompanying this watercolor, "View of the Centre Common of Framingham, 1808," is an interactive kiosk that allows you to jump right in and explore the historic buildings and people!

What a festive Saturday afternoon we had! Thank you Voices of MetroWest for a wonderful performance for "Caroling on the...
12/11/2019

What a festive Saturday afternoon we had! Thank you Voices of MetroWest for a wonderful performance for "Caroling on the Common" - its always fun to see little ones using the noise makers! Thank you all who attended and our wonderful volunteers. Happy Holidays from the FHC!

Untitled, Wallace Nutting[a country road lined with green trees]
12/09/2019

Untitled, Wallace Nutting

[a country road lined with green trees]

It's that magical time of year again. While the true Shoppers' World may not be around, we're sure glad the toy soldiers...
12/09/2019
Christmastime at Shoppers World - Framingham History Center

It's that magical time of year again. While the true Shoppers' World may not be around, we're sure glad the toy soldiers are!

This submission written by storyteller and FHC volunteer Libby Franck (written in 2009) Christmas at Shoppers World in Framingham (1951-1994) used to be truly festive.  Two levels of stores surrounded an open courtyard.  Bridged walkways let you walk from one side to the other.  With Jordan Marsh...

#funfactfriday: The site of the Minute Man statue (located on an island on Union Ave) was once the town’s first center k...
12/06/2019

#funfactfriday: The site of the Minute Man statue (located on an island on Union Ave) was once the town’s first center known as Buckminster Square. The square was used as a training ground for 350 Framingham Revolutionary War soldiers, of whom 153 responded to the alarm from Concord and Lexington on April 19, 1775.

This Saturday is our annual FREE Caroling on the Common family event from 1-3pm! Sing along to your favorite holiday son...
12/05/2019

This Saturday is our annual FREE Caroling on the Common family event from 1-3pm! Sing along to your favorite holiday songs with Voices of MetroWest, enjoy children's crafts, FHC museum gift shopping, and hot chocolate!

Thank you to our 13 wonderful donors who participated in #GivingTuesday yesterday! We are on our way to making our $14,0...
12/04/2019

Thank you to our 13 wonderful donors who participated in #GivingTuesday yesterday! We are on our way to making our $14,000 matching grant to examine the future of our buildings. Without the buildings we could not display the City's important artifacts. Thank you for supporting local history.

It's #GivingTuesday! This year help us map the future for Framingham's Old Academy. [There's a new way you can give! You...
12/03/2019

It's #GivingTuesday! This year help us map the future for Framingham's Old Academy.

[There's a new way you can give! You can now donate to the FHC through Venmo.]

In 1933, during the Great Depression, Charles E. Peterson had a vision to document the United States’ most important antique buildings which he said “knew the beginning and first flourish of the nation.” The Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) ultimately put one thousand unemployed architects back to work for ten weeks documenting buildings like Framingham’s 1837 Old Academy.

This building holds national significance as it contributed to the American Academy movement initiated by Benjamin Franklin, in 1792. The movement was “based on the philosophy that America’s greatness as a new republic would depend on a liberal education available to its middle class.” (Framingham: An American Town)

Fast forward to today - #GivingTuesday - and the Old Academy needs another architectural survey in order to determine its future accessibility, energy efficiency and climate control for our collections.

The Massachusetts Cultural Council’s Cultural Facilities Fund wants to help us with this project and has challenged us to raise $14,000 toward this survey which they will match. We need you to help us reach this goal by December 31st so that we can get to work on mapping out the future for this historic gem. Please give today and your gift will be doubled by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

3 ways to donate - click http://bit.ly/2Rfg00B, Venmo @FramighamHistoryCenter or mail a check to PO Box 2032, Framingham, MA 01703

#onthisday in 1883: the drying room of Mill Building #2 caught fire and caused the Saxonville Mills (except Building 7 n...
11/30/2019

#onthisday in 1883: the drying room of Mill Building #2 caught fire and caused the Saxonville Mills (except Building 7 next to the Athenaeum) to go up in flames. Amazingly no lives were lost but it was Framingham's greatest fire disaster in terms of property.

Owner Michael Simpson resolved the rebuild and a year later on December 19, 1884 the new mill was up and running.

We are thankful this holiday for our wonderful donors, members, volunteers and Facebook friends! Thank you for your supp...
11/28/2019

We are thankful this holiday for our wonderful donors, members, volunteers and Facebook friends! Thank you for your support and continued interest in preserving local history.

Please note that our museum is closed today, tomorrow and Saturday (11/30).

Dennison Mfg. Co "Horn of Plenty" circa 1960 - FHC Collection

#onthisday in 1792 (227 years ago): Framingham became an academy town. No longer was Framingham a colonial backwater tow...
11/27/2019

#onthisday in 1792 (227 years ago): Framingham became an academy town. No longer was Framingham a colonial backwater town, but a model community of the New America. Students could now be prepared for skilled occupations or for matriculation into college which could lead to training new doctors, lawyers, and clergy.

The American academy movement was initiated by Benjamin Franklin and "based on a philosophy that America's greatness as a new republic would depend on a liberal education available to its middle class" (Framingham: An American Town).

An image of the first Framingham Academy does not exist. However, the Old Academy at the corner of Vernon and Grove Streets stands in the location of the former brick schoolhouse. FHC Collections, 1878.

It's National Cake Day! Our mouths are watering for Dr. Murray's Chocolate Cake. If you bake it, tell us how it is!Dr. H...
11/26/2019

It's National Cake Day! Our mouths are watering for Dr. Murray's Chocolate Cake. If you bake it, tell us how it is!

Dr. Halstead G. Murray was the resident physician for the Dennison Manufacturing Company for decades. He became the first full time physician in 1918 and took care of minor illnesses and injuries for employees during factory hours. Dr. Murray and other medical personnel also wrote up-to-date articles for company publications that covered health care concerns.

Image: Dr. Murray examining young woman, 1922. FHC Collections.

Do you have a piece of Framingham history sitting in your closet, garage, or attic? Ron Chick of Framingham collected se...
11/25/2019

Do you have a piece of Framingham history sitting in your closet, garage, or attic? Ron Chick of Framingham collected several pieces of the Jordan Marsh dome when it was being torn down in 1994 and kept them in his garage all these years. When he heard that the Shoppers' World sign would be displayed in our "Framingham's Top 10" exhibit he came down and donate a piece to our collection!

If you have any Framingham ephemera that needs a new home, think about donating it to the FHC. We accept donations any time during open hours (or by mail).

The "Framingham's Top 10" exhibition is open today from 1-4pm! Discover the ten most rare and important artifacts from o...
11/23/2019

The "Framingham's Top 10" exhibition is open today from 1-4pm! Discover the ten most rare and important artifacts from our collection holdings all in one space.

Located at 3 Oak Street, admission is $5/non-members, $2/FSU students, and free for members and children under 18.

#funfactfriday: Framingham owes much of its early medical advancement to a man who was born and raised in Boston. Zabdie...
11/22/2019

#funfactfriday: Framingham owes much of its early medical advancement to a man who was born and raised in Boston. Zabdiel Boylston Adams (Zab to his friends) was a surgeon in the 32nd Massachusetts Regiment during the Civil War. After sustaining a leg injury, he was discharged and eventually settled in Framingham. Zab opened a medical practice in town and he was very involved in the founding of the Framingham Hospital. He also promoted physical education in schools while on the Board of Health and fought for the creation of sewerage filtration fields in the area of modern day Route 9.

You can learn more about Zab here:https://framinghamhistory.org/biographies/zabdiel-boylston-adams/

Historical home blogger, Candice, explored "Framingham's Top 10" last week and came away with some unexpected discoverie...
11/19/2019
Framingham History Top 10 Exhibit: How much do you know about your hometown?

Historical home blogger, Candice, explored "Framingham's Top 10" last week and came away with some unexpected discoveries. Read more about her top picks and visiting tips. Thanks The Historic New England Project!

One of the biggest takeaways from this project is just how embarrassingly little I know about the town I live in. Thanks to public schools, I know a tad more about the town I actually grew up in, b…

We'll see you between 1 and 4pm today to experience Framingham's Top 10 with lit Shoppers' World sign! The neon glow wil...
11/16/2019

We'll see you between 1 and 4pm today to experience Framingham's Top 10 with lit Shoppers' World sign! The neon glow will mesmerize you!

The Old Shoppers World was Better

#funfactfriday: Not all products are perfect! We received these three milk bottles in June from a Sherborn resident and ...
11/15/2019

#funfactfriday: Not all products are perfect! We received these three milk bottles in June from a Sherborn resident and one bottle is marked “Hillcrest Farm – FARMINGHAM” . The others bottles say “Westridge Farm – T.R. KITSON, FRAMINGHAM,” and “HALF PINT.”

Is anyone familiar with Westridge Farm?

#onthisday in 1848: Edgell Grove Cemetery was finally given a name one month after dedication. The cemetery committee ch...
11/13/2019

#onthisday in 1848: Edgell Grove Cemetery was finally given a name one month after dedication. The cemetery committee chose the name Edgell after Colonel Moses Edgell who donated his Grove Street land to the town for this purpose.

Images: Edgell Grove Chapel (2018 and 1885)

This Saturday, the Shoppers World sign will be lit from 1-4! Come experience "Framingham's Top 10" exhibition in the glo...
11/12/2019

This Saturday, the Shoppers World sign will be lit from 1-4! Come experience "Framingham's Top 10" exhibition in the glow of the beloved neon.

$5 admission for non-members, $2 for FSU students, and free for FHC members and children under 18.

The Old Shoppers World was Better

11/11/2019

On this Veterans Day just before 9am we witnessed the honoring of our Civil War solider and memorial building. Thank you Framingham Veteran Services! And thank you to all our veterans who have proudly served our great country. 🇺🇸

#funfactfriday: On Winter Street just before you pass the reservoir heading towards Maple Street, there is a modern look...
11/08/2019

#funfactfriday: On Winter Street just before you pass the reservoir heading towards Maple Street, there is a modern looking home on the left. Its abstract features are very distinct if you have come across this style before. Walter Gropius, founder of the Bauhaus in Germany and one of the pioneers of the modern movement in 20th century architecture, designed this home with his Bauhaus protégé Marcel Breuer in 1940-1941. Titled the “Abele Residence,” “the prim, white, vertically sheathed, wooden exterior walls were meant to respond to the similar qualities of our native vernacular” (MACRIS, 1979). The next closest home designed by Gropius is in Lincoln, MA. https://www.historicnewengland.org/property/gropius-house/

First image: FHC Collection by Damianos Photography 2003
Second Image: Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum, Gift of Ise Gropius, c. 1941

Address

3 Oak St
Framingham, MA
01701

Opening Hours

Monday 10:00 - 16:00
Tuesday 10:00 - 16:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 16:00
Thursday 10:00 - 16:00
Friday 10:00 - 16:00
Saturday 13:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(508) 626-9091

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