From its humble beginnings on a back porch to its current home on Main Street, the Franklin County Historical Society has seen growth and change throughout its fifty years.
On Saturday, the society will celebrate that growth at the Essig Center from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.
“We’re tickled we’ve made it half a century and we want everyone to know it,” the historical society’s director Linda Stanley said. “We want to celebrate that we’ve survived this long and that we’re still growing.”
More than 34 items will be auctioned off by local auctioneer Floyd Anderson and an additional 30 items will be sold through a silent auction.
Items in the auction range from historical items like autographed books and a basket of vintage Coca-Cola-related items to handmade goods such as potholders.
The centerpiece item up for grabs is an antique chestnut teacher’s desk from the old Endicott school donated by “two people who signed our [the society’s] original articles of incorporation.”
Music will be performed by Rodger Doss, Ernie Powers, Jay Shelton and Gene Parker.
There will be a $10 entry fee per person.
Money collected during the evening will be used to continue to “grow the museum and benefit the society for years to come,” according to Stanley, who added that she hopes the museum will continue to grow so more items can be displayed for the public.
In 1968, the society was formed in order to preserve the history of Franklin County. Since then, the organization has opened a museum and a research library. The museum and research library are both run by volunteers.
The Franklin County Historical Society also now has a board of directors that consists of twelve members including a president. The society today holds the history of Franklin County, educates the public and hosts events to bring the community together.
Stanley said the mission of The Franklin County Historical Society is to “collect, preserve and share the history of Franklin County.”
This mission is lived out every day at the museum and research library where items are displayed and a tour program is available.
One of the society’s most notable tours is called “Spirit of Another Kind,” a moonshine tour that takes visitors to historical locations throughout Franklin County.
The museum’s research library has thousands of books covering history from Franklin County and surrounding states. The library also has information on family history by surname that is available to the public.
The museum and research library are open every day except Wednesday and Sunday.
In regards to what is next for the society Stanley expressed her excitement for the other upcoming events and said there are still “books to be written and stories to be told.”