Self Guided Tour

We hope you enjoy exploring Franklin. History is all around us!

26110 Carol

A structure gets its historic designation because of its age, architectural characteristics, who lived there, and/or events that took place there. The home was built around 1850 by J. J. Trott. It features Greek revival details.

James Trott and Charles Coder lived here. Trott was a brick & stone mason who, in 1864, enlisted in the 14 th Michigan Infantry in the Civil War.

Trott’s father-in-law, Jonathan Worthing, was an original landowner in Franklin. Coder was a shoemaker. He was also a postmaster from 1861 to 1864. In the early days, the post office was located in the home of the postmaster. It was an event to pick up your mail and exchange village gossip at the same time.

26091 German Mill

The approximate construction date is 1850.

One of the criteria for historic designation is who lived here. Noble Roberts, the village tin smith, lived here from 1869 to 1914. His shop was located on Franklin Road just south of Carol. It was common to live near your place of work. He could make or mend anything of tin or iron. He used to be the envy Of all of the boys because he could make such terrible faces and he did it unconsciously always when he was cutting tin.

Roberts was an elected officer of the Odd Fellows Lodge 59 in 1871. He was the leader of the Franklin Band.

26109 German Mill

In 1840, the church was officially organized with Reverend Laban Smith as preacher. In 1859, William and Emily Kyle deeded this land to the church to erect a house of worship. Thomas Bigelow, a carpenter, completed the building the following year.
In the spring of 1863, the building was dedicated. In 1880, the horse sheds were added behind the church. They were built the full length of the lot to stable horses and carriages during services.

In front of the church was an eight-foot-wide plank platform used to assist passengers in getting on and off their buggy, carriage or sleigh. The original church had wooden siding.

In 1906, the current rusticated block was added to cover the wood siding. Between 1906 and 1908, a fireplace and chimney were added along with a basement and belfry. The horse sheds were torn down in 1922 to make room for the automobile. Today the structure is a private residence.

26111 Carol

This house was constructed in 1845. It is referred to as the Henry Cox home because he was a note-worthy owner. He was a physician, justice of the peace, school board member and the author of the bylaws of the Franklin Band. He served as an assistant surgeon in the 5th Michigan Cavalry in major battles including Gettysburg.

He attended the old church on German Mill and could always be found sitting in the same pew with his glasses on the top of his head. He was popular with young folks. One children’s day they asked him if he could carve a spider. It was so realistic when he was finished, the children were afraid.

It was made from a potato.

26210 Evelyn Court

In the fall of 1827, Dorus Morton, a mason, came from Niagara County New York to Franklin with his wife and family. Ebenezer Raynale, his wife’s cousin, came the following year and boarded with them for a time. Raynale became the first doctor in the new settlement. They all lived in a log cabin that Morton built on this site. In 1833, Morton built a new addition to the cabin and opened a tavern called the Franklin Cottage.

In 1837, Peter Van Every bought the place and his son William became the tavern keeper.

The Village Green

Imagine a different village green with 24 townhouses in two rows, each one on a 20 by 100 -foot lot in the village green area  between the library and the church! This was the vision of George Wellington Smith, a realtor in the village in the 1930’s.

In 1957 Smith’s dream became his nightmare. He was forced to sell his land to pay back taxes.

Four Franklin families, Ed and Marian Green, Bob and Sadie Hampson, Donald and Violet Green and Benjamin and Louise Kronlund would relieve Smith of his burden and benefit the village.

They purchased the property and in turn sold it to the village for the amount they had paid for it. Our village green was made possible because of the vision and generosity of these families.

We have a place to hang out on quiet mornings, lazy afternoons and pleasant evenings.

32406 Franklin Road

Daniel Broughton, an Englishman, was a wagon maker. He built a two-story brick building on this site in 1866 where he built wagons, carriages and surreys and shipped them to many parts of Michigan. He retired from buggy making in 1885 and became a farmer in Bloomfield Township. It is not known when the buggy works building was torn down but the lot stood empty for many years.

The current post office building was constructed in 1959.

32440 Franklin Road

This house, an elegant Queen Anne brick building, was built in 1890 by Michigan native Albert Rust who was a township supervisor, treasurer, postmaster, church leader and merchant. Rust hired a New York architect to design the most beautiful home in the area at a cost of $5,000. He married Elizabeth German the daughter of John German, one of the first millers in Franklin. Their daughter, Ada, died when she was a teenager. The other daughter, Alice, married George Bingham who built the brick store. He and Alice also built the house on Franklin Road across German Mill in 1901.

In 1861, Rust bought the John Bigelow general store that was located on the southeast corner of German Mill and Franklin Road. His home was just south of the store. Between 1869 and 1890, he moved his home to a location on German Mill (26088) so he could build the current house.

32455 Franklin Road

The Franklin Public Library was started at Franklin School (now Huda School) by the PTA, with a collection of donated books. In 1931, a shed attached to a house at Thirteen Mile Road and Wellington Road was moved to the current spot and placed on the foundation of the Sammy Green house. The structure first served as a real estate office for George Wellington Smith.

In 1938, G.W. Smith gave the building to the Franklin PTA for the two year old library. In 1939, it was expanded and remodeled to serve as village office, police station and library. By the end of 1939, the school’s PTA had turned the library collection over to an executive board, which hired Margaret DeView, a Franklin resident, as librarian. The collection amounted to 755 books (100 on loan from the state library) and 157 villagers were registered as patrons.

In 1973, the village office and police station relocated to the Broughton House (32325 Franklin Road, still village office as of today). The Franklin Community Library Association turned over all its corporate assets and its holdings to the Village of Franklin, and officially became Franklin Public Library.

In 1984, the first professional librarian was hired. By 1991, the library was fully automated with an electronic catalog, and opened 41 hours per week. The collection had risen to 13,691 volumes!

32620 Franklin Road

George Bingham’s home at 32620 Franklin Road was built in 1900. He was a young clerk in the Albert Rust store that was located on German Mill and Franklin Roads. He married Alice Rust, Albert’s daughter who passed away in 1901.

Three years after Alice’s death, he married Clara Cox. They had three children: George Arnold, Florence and James Howard.

This house is built on the site of the first brick home in Oakland County by Dillucene Stoughton, Franklin’s first landowner.

The Queen Anne style, two story home, is entirely made of red brick stretcher bonds with contrasting mortar, except for its many gables that are covered in beige colored wooden shingles that represent fish scales. A new wing was added in 1987.

Until 1964, it was a private residence. Ed Crane opened an interior design studio here followed by Perlmutter design studios.

32652 Franklin Road

The Brick store at 32652 Franklin Road was built in 1900 by George Bingham on the foundation of the Odd Fellows hall that had burned down.

It was the village general store and post office where all of the necessities of life could be purchased.
The first gas for automobiles was pumped here. Gas was brought over from Birmingham by a team of horses and wagon about 500 gallons at a time. Villagers would come here to use the phone, pick up their mail and share gossip.

John Currin bought the business and the building in 1904 and it remained in his family until 1941.

In 1931, Bert Wood and his daughter Mildred, became the merchants. They built a one-story addition on the north side of the Brick Store in 1940 where they sold toys, hardware and ice cream. In 1941, Leslie & Wanda Fraser began operating the grocery business called Franklin Food Shop in the south side of the building.

In 1958, John Showers purchased the building and renamed the store the Golfdale Market. The following year, Ted LaVergne took over the business, but not the building and changed the name to the Market Basket.

Around 2000, the Hakim family ran the Market Basket and Chef Carl transformed the business by offering gourmet prepared foods, pastries, pizza, sushi as well as grocery store items. The Showers family still owns the building.

32683 Franklin Road

Who would suspect that this building was a kit or catalog home? Kit homes were popular because they were affordable. Customers picked out the style of house that fit their needs and budget. They could choose a home plan from a catalog as well as specific types of doors, windows, hardware and moldings. Lewis shipped the building plans, pre-cut lumber, hardware and thousands of individual parts in a boxcar to Birmingham. It was the owner’s responsibility to make arrangements for delivery to Franklin and
employ people to put it together.

This house is a 1792 square foot craftsman style Lewis Home Company (Bay City, Mi) kit house that cost $4,039. It was built by William Henry Spicer in 1917. Prior to building this house, Mr. Spicer owned acreage on Maple Road east of Telegraph that he sold to the developers of Oakland Hills Country Club.

32710 Franklin Road

The Buel/Slade house located at 32710 Franklin Road was built in 1866 by Dr. Julian Buel who practiced medicine and lived here with his wife, Malintha Durkee and daughter Kittie. The next occupant was Kittie and her husband Samuel Ira Slade. Five generations of the Buel/Slade family lived here until 1949.

Before the house was built, Julian Buel’s father, Dr. Henry Buel, owned the property. Prior to the Buel family ownership, Dillucene  Stoughton, Franklin’s first land owner, built a 20’ by 26’ log cabin at the rear of this property. It was Franklin’s first established home. The current structure is an example of the Greek Revival style.

Sam Ira Slade (Kittie’s husband) was a professional actor and singer and became famous for his yearly portrayal of Abraham Lincoln reciting the Gettysburg Address. When the house was renovated in 2018, a letter written by his wife, Kittie Buel in 1883, was discovered in the attic. She wrote it to her dad asking for permission to come home from the boarding school she was attending in Port Huron.

In the 1940’s, Kittie’s son, Sam Buel Slade, invented the dry roasted peanut in the rear building. He sold the process to American Home
Products for a million dollars.

After the last Buel/Slade family moved out, the house became the home for a number of small businesses, including a barbershop, “Slades” gift shop, a knit store and others. In 1993, it was renovated by a group of attorneys. In 2019, it became the Franklin Holistic Medical building. The property originally included a barn and the land where the Ravine Condos are now located.

32716 – 32740 Franklin Road

Originally this structure was built in 1936 by William K. Jones to house a garage and dry cleaners. Jones was appointed the Franklin postmaster that same year and moved the post office into the south end of the building where it remained until 1960.

Beginning in 1947, additions were constructed on the east (rear) elevation. The north half has a front gable roof (the peak of which is visible from the front of the building). The south half has a flat roof. The Village’s first real gas station was located here and also run by Jones. At one time, a one-horse power fire siren was mounted on the gas station and Mrs. Jones manned the fire phone. The building has evolved structurally as well as commercially.

32731 Franklin Road

In 1830, Elijah Bullock, Franklin’s second landowner, built a log cabin structure on this site and opened it as a public house.
It is one of the oldest authentic structures in Franklin and was the first tavern to be built here.

The current building is a three-bayed front structure which was a common style of the time. It has had five additions to the original core. The last addition, a small gable on the south side of the building, connects the old tavern with the gas station.

It was built around 1952. The building has operated as a barbershop, slaughterhouse, bookstore,hardware store, jewelry shop and photography studio. Alan Trammell, a former Detroit Tiger, often had his hair cut here. It was not unusual for a barbershop quartet to perform on the porch.

The Franklin Hardware store closed its doors in 1974 and was, at the time, the oldest continually operating business in Franklin. Harry and Emma Huetter owned the business for thirty years. In 1980, Jack Gorback, a photographer bought the building. The Abstract and Title Guarantee Company shows that the land changed hands more than fifty times between 1824 and 1950. The field stone Michigan basement may have been a hide away for the Underground Railroad.

32750 Franklin Road

George and Susan Congleton moved to Franklin from New Jersey in 1849, the same year that he opened the buggy works next door. Their four daughters and Susan’s mother came with them. A son was born here.

Besides owning the buggy works, he was secretary of the Cemetery Society. He also met with the new minister, Reverend Pitts C. Lanning, and other villagers to work out an agreement to build a church. The church still stands as a private residence on German Mill.

The house was residential for 30 years before it became a commercial building. Some of the businesses that were here included the Village Tea Room, Mrs. Lovel’s Tea Kozy, Horse’s Head Bookstore, Staufer’s Baseball Card Shop, Ranier Pastry Shop, the Rocking Horse and others.

32751 Franklin Road

The Franklin hotel at 32751 Franklin Road was built around 1830 by Doctor Ebenezer Raynale and served as the first general store in the village operated by William Houston.

In 1840, Dr. Raynale moved to Birmingham and the building was sold to George Green who moved another structure and joined it to the rear of this building. It functioned as a hotel, tavern and stage coach stop. Green was the hotel keeper. It was the third tavern in Franklin.

Farmers from Southfield and nearby towns sold their wheat to the Van Every grist mill, now known as the Franklin Cider Mill, and would stay overnight at the hotel before their long journey back home.

Two men, Michael Burns and James Darling, boarded here prior to enlisting in the 5 th Michigan Infantry during the Civil War.

There were many stories of the happenings at the Franklin hotel as it was known as one of the rowdier taverns in the area. Tales of midnight brawls, the breaking of doors, the smashing of windows and throwing things at the lady of the house, were reported in the Pontiac Bill Poster of 1872. The Franklin hotel was the last tavern in the village to close. In 1973, the building served as a home for ten years, then a place for small businesses.

The wood frame house is of Federal style including Greek Revival additions. Its rubble foundation and basement walls are made of uncut fieldstone. The floor joists are hand -hewn logs carved with initials of some early settlers.

32760 Franklin Road

This building is an authentic reconstruction of the original buggy works that burned down on January 27, 1979. The bellows, wheel rim bender and wheelwright bench were spared and are on display at the Franklin Historical Museum 26165 Thirteen Mile Road at Kirk Lane. Dillucene Stoughton, Franklin’s first landowner, purchased this property in 1824. His land deed was signed by President John Quincy Adams.

In 1849, the land fell into the hands of George Congleton, a blacksmith, and remained in his grip until 1876. A Pontiac Gazette article of the time depicted the blacksmith and his work by writing “Through the double wooden doors, Congleton can be seen
working on a lightweight buggy. Curved pieces of hickory wood hung over his head, drying. Congleton makes buggies for farmers who can afford to keep a fast- paced trotter in the barn next to their team of work horses or oxen used for heavy hauling.”

Richard Cummings, an Englishman, was the next long- term tenant. He manufactured carriages, wagons and sleighs. He used the rear building for cabinets and general wagon repair and leased the front to a blacksmith. The top floor was used for painting buggies. Cummings’ sons owned the property until 1940.

Like other historic buildings in the village, the buggy shop housed a variety of specialty stores such as an antique and patio shop, plant hospital, the Village Barn and most recently, the Franklin Grill. It’s another example of adaptive reuse.

32800 Franklin Road

Peter Van Every and Amy Deer built their house on Franklin and 14 Mile roads around 1838. Together, they raised 14 children. The home was in the Van Every family for three generations.

A Colonel in the War of 1812, Peter was also a member of the Michigan Territorial Legislature, a postmaster in Franklin and a successful miller. When Peter Jr. and his wife, Jane Drake lived in the house, it became a hotel. Liquor was not served here, thus the name Temperance Hotel. It was also a stagecoach stop. In 1914, Fred, Peter Sr. grandson and his wife Stella converted the hotel back into a single- family dwelling.

The structure has been a home for a nursery school, interior designer, hair
salon, antique and retail shops.