John Simon March 21, 2020
Franklin Pride and Preservation
My wife Joan and our one year old daughter Kathy all moved to Franklin in February of 1970 when I was only 26 years old. This was the same year that I bought the Woodside Animal Clinic in Royal Oak from my predecessor Dr. Henry Raskin. I practiced small animal medicine at Woodside for over 50 years as a solo practioner. It was more than a full time job and left me little time to enjoy other aspects of life. I loved living in Franklin with its large beautiful tree filled lots but I had little time to spend getting involved in my community and in learning the wonderful history and heritage of this “ Town that Time Forgot ” . Now that it is 50 years later, I am 77 years old and still living in the same house. However I am now retired and have time to begin discovering what I have been missing. I am lucky to have discovered the Franklin Historical Society FHS and have become passionate about learning and preserving the unique history and character of our village. I am now much more appreciative of where I live and am intrigued by the rich history of our tiny village. As a result of getting involved with FHS I have met interesting, dedicated people and made a number of wonderful, new friends. Many are just as excited as I am about discovering the origin of their village, about preserving its rich heritage and about educating others regarding the uniqueness of the town they live in. There is a certain comradely that I have developed with these villagers that generates the energy needed to maintain a vigilant watch over and protection of the historic district. Unlike other historic communities Franklin is unique in maintaining its authentic historic nature as opposed to just simply constructing a historic veneer. The Franklin Historic District is the first to have been designated such by the State of Michigan. It is this authentic quaint rural character which sets Franklin apart from other simply beautiful communities. It is for this very reason I ask you to take great pride in your village. It is Franklin ’ s authenticity that is magical but you need first slow down and to let the magic in. As you walk through the historic district in the foot steps of those that came before, understand that this was once a great wilderness and that Franklin exists through the labor, hardships and dedication of men and women who saw the beauty of this untouched land and thru there sweat and tears brought Franklin into existence as they literally carved it out of a great oak forest which was initially the home of only animal and native american tribes. You are Franklin ’ s present but will soon be its past and others will be walking in your footsteps. What kind of Franklin do you want to leave them. If we are vigilant and dedicated we can leave our children the same beautiful authentic historic town that our predecessors left us. If we collect and preserve artifacts, articles, pictures, stories, and obtain oral histories of days gone by we can offer our children a more complete understanding of the history of their unique town. If we are careful to maintain the original rural character of Franklin we will have much to be proud of. Don ’ t make the mistake I made by waiting for your senior years to bath in the beauty of Franklin. Discover Franklin ’ s rich history by going to the FHS website, by reading “ All About Franklin ” and “ Franklin Yesteryears ” , by visiting the FHS Museum, and by attending the various programs put on by FHS. Once you have taken the opportunity to learned about Franklin ’ s long history and have become proud of its unique nature I believe you will want to help us maintain and protect Franklin ’ s authentic rural character by supporting the FHS in the preservation work it performs. Take the various opportunities available to learn about where you live and then do whatever you can to get involved with safe guarding the very valuable nature of our community.