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

Many thanks to the Framingham Garden Club, Inc. for replenishing our urn for the spring! Beautiful peaches, pinks, and a...
05/30/2020

Many thanks to the Framingham Garden Club, Inc. for replenishing our urn for the spring! Beautiful peaches, pinks, and a little blue, along with sweet potato vines to spill over the sides.

Enjoy the weekend!

It's almost graduation time for our Flyers so we'll share this fun piece of history.Framingham's team name, the Flyers, ...
05/29/2020

It's almost graduation time for our Flyers so we'll share this fun piece of history.

Framingham's team name, the Flyers, comes from a long history of aviation. Framingham was the location of the first army airport in New England, known as the Musterfield, established in 1920. This early interest brought a civilian pilot training program to Framingham prior to WWII and prepared over 100 pilots for action in 1940.

A second airfield was built in 1930 on the Gould Farm with 3 runways, located next to MCI-Framingham. This airport closed in 1945 when the land was sold to GM.

The combination of pride for this new technology in Framingham and the heroism of Framingham airmen in the war solidified the mascot name for the town.

Did you know there was a son of Framingham who declined not 1, but 2 business investments that would have made him extre...
05/28/2020
Otis Henry Boynton – Framingham Biographies

Did you know there was a son of Framingham who declined not 1, but 2 business investments that would have made him extremely wealthy? One was a fruit company in Hawaii, the other... you'll have to read to find out.

Learn more about Otis Boynton and his son William's life in our latest Framingham biography.

Categories Uncategorized Otis Henry Boynton Bookbinder Post author By stacenfhc Post date May 27, 2020 Standing on Framingham Centre Common facing north east, it is hard to miss the stately white colonial with a semi-circular porch located just south of the Plymouth Church. Upon closer inspection on...

Learning at home activity: Have you ever had an idea for something that would make your life easier, safer, or more fun?...
05/27/2020

Learning at home activity: Have you ever had an idea for something that would make your life easier, safer, or more fun? If no one else has thought of it, then it’s an invention!

One of the first women to hold a patent (a government license that gives you ownership of your idea) in the United States was Margaret E. Knight. Margaret, also called Mattie, spent her adult life in Framingham and developed almost 100 different inventions in her lifetime! Her most known invention was the flat bottomed paper bag that you might pack your lunch in or get popcorn in from a store.

Think about your daily routine and how you could improve it. It could be as simple as a faster way to put on your shoes or making your bed. Put your ideas on paper and test out a prototype (a model for the real thing) just like Mattie!

Children's book: Marvelous Mattie https://amzn.to/2zpOIRt

05/26/2020
Shoppers World by James L. Parr

"Hey moms, hey dads, hey boys and girls, head on out to Shoppers' World!" - poem by James L. Parr from his latest book of poetry titled Milestones.

The Old Shoppers World was Better

Framingham McCarthy Elementary School teacher and author Jim Parr shares a poem from his new poetry book entitled “Milestones.” Jim was inspired by the Frami...

Memorial Day. A day to remember all the brave men and women who have perished while serving in the military. Framingham ...
05/25/2020

Memorial Day. A day to remember all the brave men and women who have perished while serving in the military. Framingham has observed this day since at least 1878 with parades, placing of flags at graves, and/or processions to each of the city's war memorials.

We have 2 archival boxes of GAR/Memorial Day material in our collection. Here is a Memorial Day program dated May 30,1878 featuring an oration, a band, memorial exercises at the Baptist Church, and town officials in horse drawn carriages.

The second image is a Memorial Day parade with a band walking down the street in Saxonville, undated.

Thanks to everyone who tuned in for “The Alcotts and the Marches” this afternoon! Special thanks to Joni (please excuse ...
05/24/2020

Thanks to everyone who tuned in for “The Alcotts and the Marches” this afternoon! Special thanks to Joni (please excuse the screenshot) for sharing her immense knowledge of Little Women, Louisa and her family. Well done, Joni!!

#onthisday in 1975 Danforth Art opened to the public. We are thrilled to share the Centre Common with them as neighbors ...
05/24/2020

#onthisday in 1975 Danforth Art opened to the public. We are thrilled to share the Centre Common with them as neighbors and look forward to numerous event and program partnerships. Happy 45th birthday Danforth Art!

Image 1: Framingham High School from 1907-1958
Image 2: Danforth Museum's former location on Union Ave from 1975-2016
Image 3: Danforth Art in its new home at the Jonathan Maynard Building 2019-present

There are still tickets available for tomorrow's online program! Sales will end at midnight. $5/FHC member, $10/not yet ...
05/23/2020
The Alcotts & the Marches - Virtual Program - Framingham History Center

There are still tickets available for tomorrow's online program! Sales will end at midnight. $5/FHC member, $10/not yet a member.

Zoom Virtual Program Featuring: Joan Spinazola, Alcott Historian Who were the real people behind the characters of Louisa May Alcott’s famous 1868 novel? How much were the fictional…

#funfactfriday for 43 years (1923-1966) Texas native Floyd Niles Walser lived on Lake Waushakum as the protege of Madame...
05/22/2020

#funfactfriday for 43 years (1923-1966) Texas native Floyd Niles Walser lived on Lake Waushakum as the protege of Madame Edith Noyes Greene (a musician who played for the Czar of Russia). Edith and her husband Roy set up Floyd, a disabled artist, to study at the Museum of Fine Arts School. Despite being paralyzed by polio at the age of 21, Walser regained the use of one hand and arm and became a very accomplished artist. He went on to teach dozens of budding Framingham art students under the auspices of the Federal Art Project, a program of the Works Projects Administration in the 1930s.

In 2008, 91 pieces of Walser's work were donated to the FHC by Hazel Belloli and Richard Rotelli.

Image 1: Floyd Walser working in his wheelchair at the MFA.
Image 2: Walser's Grist Mill undated.
Image 3: Walser's Edgell Memorial Library, undated.

05/20/2020
1896 Shelf Clock - FHC Collections

Stopped by the Old Academy on Monday and took this quick video. This shelf clock was gifted by R.M. Everit in 1896 and it is part of our Victorian parlor area. Everit wrote that the clock was used for many years in his father's Framingham home.

One correction to the video - only one of the keyholes is false, not both.

Gordon's Corner circa 1895-1905. The intersection of Edgell Road and Central Street.
05/19/2020

Gordon's Corner circa 1895-1905. The intersection of Edgell Road and Central Street.

Collection Spotlight: This "Pink Lady" uniform was worn by Julie Van Deventer in 1980. Julie, a member of the Framingham...
05/18/2020

Collection Spotlight: This "Pink Lady" uniform was worn by Julie Van Deventer in 1980.

Julie, a member of the Framingham History Center, wore this easy-care uniform as a volunteer or "pink lady" at Framingham Union Hospital and donated over 3,000 hours of service. She was also president of the Hospital Aid Association in 1981. The pin on the left signifies her 3,000 hours.

Thank you for sharing this piece of history with us, Julie! It is a wonderful addition to our collection.

Normally today would have been the culmination of 6 months of work - the Framingham House Tour. While we are not able to...
05/17/2020

Normally today would have been the culmination of 6 months of work - the Framingham House Tour. While we are not able to celebrate by touring unique homes and enjoying the afternoon with friends, here are some images from last year's tour.

Share your own photos of the 2019 tour!

Tonight would have been our Patron's Party. We dearly miss all our wonderful members, donors, and friends and hope to se...
05/16/2020

Tonight would have been our Patron's Party. We dearly miss all our wonderful members, donors, and friends and hope to see you again real soon. For now, let's look back on the fun from last year.

#onthisday in 1942, the law to establish the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps (later named the Women’s Army Corps) was adopt...
05/15/2020

#onthisday in 1942, the law to establish the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps (later named the Women’s Army Corps) was adopted. For the first time in the US Army, with the exception of nurses, women served in WWII in noncombat positions. More than 150,000 women joined including Saxonville resident Adelaide Swett Stearns. At 28 years old Adelaide became a WAC nurse and served from 1943-1945. After the war she returned home and married David A. Stearns, and together they built their home on Central Street. Adelaide also worked at Dennison Manufacturing, nursing homes, and drove for Tech Dental Lab. Adelaide passed away 10 years ago at the age of 93 but in this image she is timeless.

Image of Adelaide, Framingham History Center Collections.

Coming up on June 14th, join us for a special virtual program with FHC's Curator Emerita Dana Dauterman Ricciardi. As pa...
05/14/2020
Diplomat to China: Framingham's Peter Parker - Virtual Program - Framingham History Center

Coming up on June 14th, join us for a special virtual program with FHC's Curator Emerita Dana Dauterman Ricciardi. As part of our "Framingham's Top 10" exhibition programming, Dana will feature Rev. Dr. Peter Parker's life as a US diplomat to China in the 1830s, 40s and 50s. Details from his letters and journals, along with contemporary images, introduce us to the man who won the confidence and respect of Chinese and Americans of all walks of life.

Follow the link to learn more and purchase tickets.

*Virtual Zoom Program* Featuring Dana Dauterman Ricciardi Peter Parker’s diplomatic uniform is currently on exhibit both at framinghamhistory.org and in the Edgell Memorial Library as part of the…

When staring at the "limit 2" signs in the meat department of the grocery store, it's hard not to think of this WWI post...
05/13/2020

When staring at the "limit 2" signs in the meat department of the grocery store, it's hard not to think of this WWI poster. With depleted produce, meat, eggs, and more during this time, the phrase "don't waste it" speaks volumes.

Image: World War I poster - "Food is ammunition - Don't waste it." United States Food Administration No.5. Illustrator J. E. Sheridan, Heywood Strasser & Voigt Litho Co., N.Y. - FHC Collection.

Be part of our first ever virtual program on May 24th! Virtual Program - The Alcotts & the Marches FHC member and Alcott...
05/11/2020

Be part of our first ever virtual program on May 24th! Virtual Program - The Alcotts & the Marches

FHC member and Alcott Historian Joan Grassey-Spinazola will present on Louisa May Alcott's life and the recent movie adaptation of Little Women. Joan will also share Louisa’s connection to Framingham.

This program will be featured on Zoom. To join, please purchase a ticket ($5 for FHC members, $10 for not yet members) and the meeting link along with instructions on how to join the program will be emailed to you. https://framinghamhistory.org/events/the-alcotts-the-marches/

Image: Orchard House, Concord (May 3, 2020 by Joan Spinazola)

Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful mothers and mother figures! Wouldn't your mother love to have her gift wrapped i...
05/10/2020

Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful mothers and mother figures! Wouldn't your mother love to have her gift wrapped in this beautiful Dennison Mfg Co wrapping paper?

Today is World Migratory Bird Day. Newlyweds George Newell and Olivia Plimpton Newell of Framingham took a trip to the r...
05/09/2020

Today is World Migratory Bird Day. Newlyweds George Newell and Olivia Plimpton Newell of Framingham took a trip to the rainforest of Pará, Brazil in 1841. They were accompanied by a student of John James Audubon, Mr. Moore, who assisted Newell in hunting and preparing these beautiful birds, which were then mounted by Mr. Moore and Audubon as a present for Mrs. Newell.

In Mrs. Newell's diary she wrote, "The plumage of these lovely Birds were magnificent. I regretted that they were killed for Audubons benefit, at the time..." She gave the arrangement to the Town of Framingham in 1880.

Photos by Damianos Photography

#funfactfriday: Coburnville was named for the section around Waverley Street west of Dublin (a South Framingham neighbor...
05/08/2020

#funfactfriday: Coburnville was named for the section around Waverley Street west of Dublin (a South Framingham neighborhood where Irish immigrants lived when the railroad and aqueducts were built). It was not named until after the Coburn factories moved down there from Hopkinton in 1882 (the Hopkinton firm was plagued by fires and moved here for better luck). Bridges Street, Claflin Street, and Coburn Street were named after the men at the head of the former Hopkinton organization. N.P Coburn built 10 double tenements on Coburn Street thus solidifying the new name: Coburnville. [Text adapted from a 1937 talk on street names in South Framingham.]

Image: Coburnville Buildings, 1875 (this date may be incorrect). FHC Collections.

Do you love hats like Ada? You can make your own exhibit right at home just like in a museum!Take a collection of your f...
05/07/2020

Do you love hats like Ada? You can make your own exhibit right at home just like in a museum!

Take a collection of your favorite things, decide how you want to display them, and write a 1-2 sentence label for each object. Don’t forget to create a fun title!

Parents, want to share your child’s mini exhibit? Tag us @framinghamhistoryctr on Instragram or @framinghamhist on Twitter. #learningathome

Image: Ada, age 4, displaying her hat exhibit at home.

Today is National Nurses Day! We are so grateful to the men and women who sacrifice so much, including their own safety,...
05/06/2020

Today is National Nurses Day! We are so grateful to the men and women who sacrifice so much, including their own safety, everyday to care for the lives of others.

Dennison Manufacturing Company was one of the first companies to see the importance of medical care for its employees. The Hospital Department, attended by one nurse, first opened in the spring of 1909 as an experiment. By 1913 it consisted of a reception room, treatment room, a private office and a rest room for women. A part-time physician was hired in 1914. Two years later the Clinic expanded to five rooms. The need was definitely there and medical services quickly began to grow. - excerpt from "Welcome to Dennison Manufacturing Co." by Pat Lavin

Image 1: Dennison clinic circa 1920. A nurse, standing in front of a blackboard, teaches 5 women how to read a thermometer.
Image 2: The Clinic Treatment Room, 1922. Left to Right: Mr. Mahaney, Miss Fiske, Mr. Paridisi, and Miss Kelley.

Today we celebrate National Teachers' Day! Our nation's teachers have never been more appreciated and seen - especially ...
05/05/2020

Today we celebrate National Teachers' Day! Our nation's teachers have never been more appreciated and seen - especially as they work with students from a distance. Remember to #ThankATeacher today!

Today is also #GivingTuesdayNow - please join in this international day of giving to support non-profits during these uncertain times. Donate here: https://framinghamhistory.org/support/

#TeacherAppreciationWeek"1939 Nobscot Schoolhouse #8, Edgell Rd., used as a community house.  From Framingham Evening Ne...
05/04/2020

#TeacherAppreciationWeek

"1939 Nobscot Schoolhouse #8, Edgell Rd., used as a community house. From Framingham Evening News, Aug. 17, 1939."

Recently Cameron Middle School 8th graders explored our virtual Top 10 exhibit and were asked to think of a question rel...
05/04/2020

Recently Cameron Middle School 8th graders explored our virtual Top 10 exhibit and were asked to think of a question related to an artifact.

One student asked,"How did Wallace Nutting's camera work?" We went straight to the expert for the best answer. Lynne Damianos of Damianos Photography wrote the following response:

It is a mechanical camera, meaning it needs NO batteries. A lens is attached to the front of the camera (different choices available). Because there is no mirror in the camera, the image appears upside down on the ground glass on the back side of the camera. A photographer needs a “dark cloth” to cover her head and darken the area around the ground glass (see video at 16:50) in order to see the image in advance for composition and focus. The photographer would then open the lens and through the ground glass to check composition and focus. Then, the photographer would close the lens and cock the shutter (setting the spring that will cause the lens to open and shut for the exposure). The photographer can use a separate light meter to measure appropriate exposure. This setting can then be adjusted on the lens itself. A film holder is attached to the back (see video at 15.00). The film holder can hold two pieces of film, one on each side. A photographer loads the sheet film into the film holder in a darkroom first, and when ready, inserts the film holder onto the back of the camera. The photographer slides the “dark slide” up and out to allow the film to be exposure to light when the shutter opens. When the cocked lens shutter is released, the lens will open and close to allow exposure onto the film. This 19-minute video explains everything in good detail, and is the same for the Kodak camera as the one in the video.

For the short story, start video at 17:14 for “Taking the Picture") https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTRzST2LNIc

Today is National Textiles Day! The Roxbury Carpet Company was a Massachusetts woolen manufacturer established in 1859. ...
05/03/2020

Today is National Textiles Day! The Roxbury Carpet Company was a Massachusetts woolen manufacturer established in 1859. It later acquired two other woolen mills, the Saxonville Mills and the New England Worsted Company, both in Saxonville, Massachusetts. The majority of factory workers in all of the factories were women. Payroll records show that most mill departments were segregated by gender. For instance, in the New England Worsted Mill in 1841 to 1843, all the workers in the wool room, knitting room, and weaving room were women except for one man in each room, presumably the foreman. In the spinning and fulling rooms all the workers were men. Payroll books for all the mills include signed wage receipts. (https://hbs.me/3aSYGaD)

Saxonville Mills/Roxbury Carpet Co late 1800s-early 1900s
Image 1: Blending and picking the wool
Image 2: Printing yarn for 9x12 tapestry rugs
Image 3: Carding the wool
Image 4: Mule spinning of woolen yarns
Image 5: Setting the pattern for tapestry rugs

#onthisday in 1954: The 100-room, air-conditioned Motor Inn opened. Mass Turnpike exit 12 had not yet opened at the time...
05/01/2020

#onthisday in 1954: The 100-room, air-conditioned Motor Inn opened. Mass Turnpike exit 12 had not yet opened at the time this photo was taken circa 1955. The Motor Inn was razed in 1994.

At lower right is Christy's Restaurant, later the site of the Red Coach Grill, and now the site of China Gourmet.

Address

3 Oak St
Framingham, MA
01701

Opening Hours

Thursday 13:00 - 16:00
Friday 13:00 - 16:00
Saturday 13:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(508) 626-9091

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The Framingham History Center consists of three buildings: -The Academy Museum (16 Vernon Street) houses a 3-floor permanent "Framingham Timeline" exhibition and research library and is presently open by appointment. - Village Hall on the Centre Common (2 Oak Street) is a beautiful banquet facility available for rental for functions, performances and other meetings. - The Edgell Memorial Library (3 Oak Street) is a memorial building to Framingham's Civil War veterans, and showcases our revolving exhibitions. Our rotating exhibition, "Framingham’s Top 10", is available Wednesday through Saturday, 1-4 p.m. Admission is free for members, $5 for non members. For more info, visit our website at www.framinghamhistory.org

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Comments

Marconi’s - always one of our family favorites - Framingham/Ashland line.
In the first,second & third grades at Jonathan Maynard we walked across the street to the back of the town hall & had our lunch there.
The only image of the Wallace Nutting House that I could find was on cardcow.com(a postcard site).I lived in the Back of the house(Parsonage1949-1952)
WHY was the Wallace Nutting House torn down?
Why was THE Wallace Nutting House torn down?
Is the name of the person responsible for tearing down the Wallace Nutting House available?
Please delete if not allowed-- The History Minute is starting to populate courses--beginning with our popular Gettysburg Campaign course. Check it out here: https://the-history-minute.teachable.com/ Thank you!
Cool story about a Framingham entrepreneur and a reminder of our place in the Abolitionist Movement.
Hi! I'm the 6th Great Granddaughter of John Shattuck who served as a Lieutenant in the Framingham Militia and answered the alarm for Lexington, serving in that battle, as well as the Battle of Concord. I'm looking for any type of town records, musters, etc., that you or someone you know would have with my Ancestor on it. He also died in Framingham on New Year's Day, 1785. I thank you kindly for anything you can do to help! Huzzah😃🇺🇸