FRANKLIN– The Franklin Historical Society, co-hosting with the Franklin Public Library, has received a grant from the New Hampshire Humanities Council to host the program 'Exemplary Country Estates of New Hampshire'. This talk will be presented by Cristina Ashjian on Thursday, September 5, at 7 p.m. at the Franklin Public Library (310 Central Street, second floor meeting room, which is ADA accessible by the elevator through the rear door from the back parking lot), and is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served following the program and before the regular business meeting of the Society.
In the early 20th century, the New Hampshire Board of Agriculture launched a drive to boost the rural economy and promote tourism through the sale of abandoned farms to summer residents. After introducing the country house movement, Ashjian focuses attention on some of the great country estates featured in the state's promotional "New Hampshire Farms for Summer Homes" publication between 1902 and 1913. Which private estates were recognized as exemplary, and who were their owners?
Using historic images and texts, Ashjian discusses well-known estates now open to the public such as The Fells on Lake Sunapee, The Rocks in Bethlehem, and Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish. The presentation will explore the architecture and scope of various country houses, and examine the fate of significant private estates showcased in the state literature.
Cristina Ashjian is an art historian and independent scholar based in Moultonborough, where she is presently the chair of the Moultonborough Heritage Commission. She holds an MA in the History of Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London and a PhD in Modern Art and Architecture from Northwestern University.
The Franklin Historical Society's activities, recent newsletters, information on membership, and a list of merchandise available, are all posted on the Society's website, www.franklinnhhistoricalsociety.org. Visit often and consider investing in $10 a year membership to be part of preserving and celebrating Franklin's colorful past.