Keeping Franklin, Ohio's stories alive!
We collect and preserve stories and artifacts relating to the history of Franklin and Franklin Township, Ohio. We share these stories through programs, publications, tours, and the operation of our Harding Museum and Log Post Office Museum.
Join and or donate today.
Many thanks to our 2022 admissions sponsor: WesBanco!
Halloween fun! The Franklin Area Historical Society Presents A Haunted Historical Costume Bash, Friday, Oct. 28, 7 to 10 p.m. Many thanks to our Platinum sponsor, Interstate Ford.
$15 pp for a frightening fundraising function consisting of a curious costume party and contest, mysterious music, fearsome food, and a ferocious fortune teller. Reserve your spot at EventBrite.
The images on this page and others on the site show some of the people
and places whose stories create the rich tapestry of Franklin's history.
Log Post Office
The Log Post Office on River Street at Fifth Street dates to 1805. It was commissioned by Thomas Jefferson and is one of the oldest standing post offices in Ohio.
1915 FHS Football
FHS football player Owen Blyth (front row, 3rd from right), shown here with his 1915 teammates, was the first African-American to graduate from Franklin High School in 1917. He later attended Ohio State and practiced law in Cincinnati.
Uhlenbrock Cigar Factory
The Uhlenbrock Cigar Factory, was at 40 N. Main St., and was a gathering place for men to find out the news. Henry Uhlenbrock was famous for his handmade cigars.
Gen. E. Forrest Harding
Major General Edwin Forrest Harding was appointed to West Point by William Howard Taft and graduated in 1909 with classmate George S. Patton. Harding served in the Army from 1909-1946 commanding the 32nd Infantry Division in World War II. The General retired to his boyhood home on Park Avenue and left the home to the Franklin Area Historical Society upon his death in 1970.
Lillian Beam Kennedy
Lillian Kennedy Beam moved to Franklin with her family in 1927. Lillian attended Howard University and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from The Ohio State University. Her degrees also include an MA degree and a Ph.D. in Psychology. She was the President of San Diego Community College and Vice Chancellor of the United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya. You can find out more about Lillian in "African American Life in Franklin, Ohio by Eva Louise Polley.
Judge Justin Harding
On Nov. 20, 1945, Nazi officials were put on trial for war crimes in Nuremberg, Germany. A series of 12 trials took place including the "Judges' Trial." Sixteen German jurists and lawyers were put on trial in 1947 and one of the judges at this military tribunal was Justin Harding. Justin was born in Franklin in 1888 and was the younger brother of General Edwin Forest Harding. Justin attended Franklin schools, graduated from Philips Exeter Academy, attended West Point and graduated from the University of Michigan Law School.
In addition to the hours below we are also open by appointment.
Monday - Thursday
10:00am – 03:00pm
11:00am – 03:00pm
Rent the museum
The Harding Museum is a unique place to have a holiday party or an event throughout the year. The main floor of the building can be rented for a three-hour get-together for forty or fewer participants for $150. Learn more.
Thank you to WesBanco, our 2022 admissions sponsor.
Support has been provided by Ohio Humanities, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
Thank you to Middletown Community Foundation for its generous support for our chimney repair projects and installation and upgrades of our outdoor stair railings.