Franklin would have been Benjamin Franklin’s kind of town.
Small, industrious, reinventing itself as time goes on, yet timeless.
Franklin is one of nearly 50 towns around the country named for the inventor of critical things such as bifocals, the catheter, swim fins, the odometer and the Franklin stove.
This particular Franklin in Hancock County was founded in 1764 by Moses Butler, who established the town’s first settlement at, where else, Butler’s Point. Until then the land had been known as Plantations 8 and 9.
Among the early names in Franklin, in addition to Butler, were Wentworth, Donnell, Bragdon, Hooper and Hardison.
Years ago, Franklin was best known for lumbering, shipmasts, railroad ties, granite, blueberries and Christmas trees. Today there are more than 75 businesses in town, many of which are home-based and range from electricians, jewelers, photographers, woodcutters, wreath makers, potters, basket makers, tile makers and sculptors.
And, like any small town, small news was, and is, big news.
In the 1897 Ellsworth American bicentennial edition under “County Gossip” was this factoid: “Franklin is enjoying a building boom. Five dwellings and a schoolhouse are now in the course of erection.”