SPring 2023 Events

The Friends of Ashbel Woodward Museum Present:

An American Hero, Nathan Hale

APRIL 2, 2023

2:00 pm

Bev York will present an interactive illustrated presentation on Connecticut’s State Hero, Nathan Hale. In 1776, Hale was captured by the British on Long Island and hanged as a spy. The story of Nathan and his patriotic family (six sons fought in the Revolution) is one of great sacrifice for America’s independence.

York is a local historian who teaches at Quinebaug Valley Community College. She has served as the administrator of the Nathan Hale Homestead in Coventry, the director and educator of the Mill Museum in Willimantic and is currently the curator of The America Museum. She serves as the director of Windham Arts which promotes art, culture, history and tourism in the region. York is passionate about teaching American History by sharing local and relevant stories.

FHS Members - Free

Non members - $7.00

Click into link below to reserve your seat today!

The Ashbel Woodward Museum is located at 387 RT 32 Franklin, OUR ENTRANCE is located off of Plains Rd, we share a driveway with State of CT DEEP. Follow driveway through DEEP parking lot and up and around barn to museum parking


The 90th Anniversary of the Civilian Conservation Corps & History of CT CCC Camps.

Exploring the histories, memories and Legacies of the CCC

A talk presented by author Marty Podskoch.

The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) began on March 31, 1933 under President Roosevelt’s “New Deal” to relieve the poverty and unemployment of the Depression. CCC camps were set up in a few Connecticut towns, state parks, & forests. Workers built trails, roads, campsites, & dams, stocked fish, built & maintained fire tower observer’s cabins & telephone lines, fought fires, & planted millions of trees. The CCC disbanded in 1942 due to the need for men in WW II.

In Connecticut there were 21 CCC camps. In the first year 13 camps were set up in these Connecticut towns & state parks & forests: West Cornwall, Housatonic Meadows; Niantic, Military Reservation; Hampton, Natchaug; Haddam, Cockaponset; Union, Nipmuck; New Fairfield, Squantz Pond; Cobalt, Meshomasic; Voluntown, Pachaug; Thomaston, Black Rock; East Hartland, Tunxis; West Goshen, Mohawk; Clinton, Cockaponset; and Burrville, Paugnut. The Army Government Dock in New London was the supply depot for all the CT camps.

In the following years these eight camps were added: Winsted, American Legion State Forest; East Hampton, Salmon River; Danbury, Wooster Mountain; Stafford Springs, Shenipsit; Portland, Meshomasic; Windsor/Poquonock, Experiment Station Land; Kent, Macedonia Brook and Madison, Cockaponset.

Marty Podskoch is a retired teacher and the author of 11 books: Adirondack Civilian Conservation Corps Camps: Their History, Memories and Legacy of the CCC; Fire Towers of the Catskills: Their History and Lore, Adirondack Fire Towers: Their History and Lore, the Southern Districts; Adirondack Fire Towers: Their History and Lore, the Northern Districts, Adirondack Stories: Historical Sketches; & 101 More Adirondack Stories: Historical Sketches. He also writes a weekly column called “Adirondack Stories,” in five Adirondack newspapers. He has written three travel books: The Adirondack 102 Club: Your Passport & Guide to Exploring the North Country, The Connecticut 169 Club and the Rhode Island 39 Club.

Marty and his wife Lynn raised their three children in an old farmhouse on the West Branch of the Delaware River in Delhi, NY where he taught 7th grade Reading. He and his wife now live on Lake Pocotopaug in East Hampton, Conn.

Refreshments will be available


FHS Members -Free

Non- members $7.00




We will be setting up a display on the Norwich town green doing what we do best

"Talking about history" along with the

Norwich Historical Society and the Society of the Founders of Norwich's season opening of the Norwich Heritage & Regional Visitors' Center and the Joseph Carpenter Silversmith Shop

Living History demonstrations on the historic Norwichtown Green.

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Monday May 29th 2023

Franklin's 116th Memorial Day Observance

The Museum Volunteers and The FHS will be participating in this town wide observance.

Below is an oral history about the origins of this yearly town activity

Town Memorial Day Origin

as relayed by Mrs. Eleanore Beckwith Smith,

with updates added in 1981

The Franklin celebration of Memorial Day began in 1907. Mrs. Luther Holton, Rev. Harry Beadle, Mr. and Mrs. Abel Browning, Mrs. and Mrs. William Cox, Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Smith were among those instrumental in starting it. That year, under raining skies, and for several years thereafter, some of the schools went in wagons draped with bunting to the three cemeteries where exercises were held. As wagons and other horse drawn vehicles and a few bicycles went over the Pond Rd (Rt 207) from Pautipaug to Gagertown cemetery. Persons in the parade could look up and wave to Mr. Stephen Parker, a Civil War veteran who lost both legs in the war. In those early years, dinner was enjoyed at the spacious home of Mr. and Mrs. A Browning , the present residence of Carol Beckwith on RT 32.

After a few years, exercises were also held in the town hall, where the crowd was usually addressed by a speaker of whom Rev. Ayers was one of the first. Someone from each school usually took part. For a long time, even until 1980’s, Memorial Day was considered a school day in Franklin. The selectman, board of education, local veterans and the minister have always worked with the school, teachers, and children to formulate an impressive program at the cemeteries and church.


Watch for more info coming soon!

he Friends of Ashbel Woodward Museum Present:

APRIL 23, 2023 2:00pm

Civilian Conservation Corps:

Its History & Work in CT