courtesy of the Franklin Historical Society
The Franklin Village settlement began in 1824. Upon the completion of the Erie Canal, more settlers from New England arrived. Many of the early settlers had trades including: blacksmith, carpenter, mason, bricklayer, and a shoemaker. For the next decade, Franklin continued to grow with businesses such as flour and feed mills, a lumber mill, a brick and tile yard, a wagon and sleigh shop, a cooperage, distillery and many small shops.
Life in the Village did not change until the advent of the automobile and the construction of highways. A local developer laid out a plan calling for large single-family lots in the 1920’s. Franklin was incorporated as a Home Rule Village on November 8, 1953 and continues the tradition of family homes and businesses as the Village had originally begun.
The Congleton House
This two-story frame home was constructed around 1840 in the Early Greek Revival style and has three distinctive eye-brow windows. The basement has log beams with the bark still attached and fieldstone walls. It is located just to the south of the Congleton Carriage Shop and was the residence of George Congleton and his family. The nineteenth-century practice of building homes next to the workplace (on the same piece of property) was typical of villages like Franklin since few families could afford to buy seperate pieces properties for their homes and businesses.
As late as the early-1970's this home was still used as a residence. It was later converted to a commercial property - as so many homes in historic businesses districts are - and is a great example of adaptive reuse within a historic business district. Today it is home to Deja Vu Designer Resale.
Through the Years
The Temperance House
This property, known today as the Van Every Building, was built a few years after the completion of the Van Every Grist Mill in 1837. For a period of time, it was run as the "Temperance Hotel," by Amy Van Every, Peter Van Every's wife. It has had a varied history as a home, hotel, and now a commercial property. Present tenants include Linda Gee Beauty and Village Pilates.
The Congleton Carriage Shop
Built around 1840, this 2-story frame building housed the Congleton Carriage Shop. The second story was used for painting buggies. It originally had a ramp outside the was used for raising and lowering the buggies via a pulley system. The forge was on the first floor towards the front of the builiding. The Congleton shop produced nails, chains, axles, hoes, and other miscellaneous items in addition to the wagons and buggies.
The original buidling burned down in the 1970's but was rebuilt to replecate the original. It is currently home to the Franklin Grill & Tavern, Franklin's only full-service restaurant.