Museum News

What will 2021 bring to the museum?

Good News! We are working on a new ways to participate in 2021. The Woodward museum will be forming a 19th century reenacting group. Open to anyone who wants to be part of our history. Watch for more details in the coming months.

If you can't wait and want to join before we officially roll this out please email us with your info.

Thank you to TLGV for their continued support.

We were recently awarded a $1,000 grant! This grant money will help us "Evolve Beyond 2020" and help us continue to improve our programming and collections digitally.


By Jimmy Zanor

Norwich Bulletin Posted Apr 18, 2020 at 2:42 PM Updated Apr 18, 2020 at 4:34 PM

FRANKLIN - Christine Schulz misses her patrons.

The world-wide pandemic has created a disconnect within communities across America, even in the smallest towns, such as Franklin. And Schulz, who has been the director of the Janet Carlson Calvert Library since its founding in 2007, wants to change those feelings of separation.

“I’m hoping to keep Franklin together,” Schulz said. “I want us to all remember each other, to support each other, to enjoy each other and make sure we support one another in all things with the town. This is an important time.”

Schulz has started an initiative to preserve local history being made during the COVID-19 pandemic. The “Franklin History Room” project is a collaborative effort between the library, Ashbel Woodward Museum and Franklin Historical Society.

Schulz wants to document this unprecedented time and is inviting the people of Franklin to share how they are spending their time during the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Christine was thinking of things we can do collaboratively as an organization to keep us kind of in everyone’s thoughts because they can’t visit the museum or the library during this time,” said Matthew Novosad, who is the president of the Franklin Historical Society. “To help preserve some of the stories that will be generated by this, from my perspective, was a really good idea. It allows us to invite people while the event is happening to share those stories with us so we can preserve those for the future.”

The project is open to all ages. Schulz and Novosad are asking people to send images, stories and recipes to They will be sharing these photographs and stories online with the community. After the period of social distancing has passed, they hope people will come to the library and museum to share physical artifacts of this historic time.

“Once we get some stuff in, we’ll start having some slide shows,” Novosad added. “We want it to be a community thing. We don’t don’t want it to be just, ‘OK, here it is. It’s locked away in the archive.’ We want people to share this with their neighbors and people all over the place so they can learn about what everyone is doing. It’s a way to keep connected when you can’t necessarily be right next to each other.”

A few years ago, Schulz and Novosad were involved in another collaborative effort with the town while celebrating the Franklin church’s 300th anniversary.

“That went pretty well, and I don’t want to lose that momentum,” Schulz said. “I wanted us to keep doing things. I always try to do stuff with the museum because we’re a little town. But we’re spread out so we need to keep everybody together. People outside of the usual library users are seeing how we’re trying to work together in the community.”

Schulz and Novosad are both graduates of Norwich Free Academy. Schulz earned a bachelor degree in library science from Southern Connecticut State University, while Novosad graduated from UConn in 2018 with a degree in maritime studies and a concentration in anthropology.

“I hope the project works,” Schulz said. “We’re just trying to figure out how to get it so it runs as smooth as I want it to be. Later on, I’m hoping we are able to hold pictures and actual items in hand, as well as the virtual stuff.”

Novosad is returning to UConn this fall to pursue a master’s degree in history.

“In the future, when I’m long gone from the historical society, people can go back into the archive and be like, “OK ... what was life like during that pandemic outbreak? What were people eating? What were people doing?′ And we’ll have that available for them. It’s also being able to keep people connected today and feel part of something bigger when it feels like we are all so separate.”

National Register of Historic Places Designation

We are excited to have received our official National Historic Register Plaque. We would like to thank the William G. Pomeroy Foundation for making this possible. Woodward house was placed on the National Historic register in 1992 but never had the funding to purchase the bronze designation plaque. The foundation provided the funding that allowed us to finally obtain this long over due acknowledgement. The Ashbel Woodward House is the only location in Franklin that currently holds this designation.

We are looking forward to a spring 2020 placement ceremony

The Myth of Micah Rood explained by our own Matt Novosad

Recent Finds near and on the

Woodward House Property

The summer of 2019 brought the museum a pleasant gift. Mr Kenneth Bennett of Willimantic CT approach the museum with a proposal to metal detect the property in an effort to unearth some hidden history. Much to our surprise Mr Bennett found some interesting pieces. Below are a small sampling of what Ken has found.

New Research Room to Open to Public Soon

June 1, 2019 Whats new at the museum: A new research space is near completion. We would like to thank James McPherson of Lisbon, CT for choosing the Ashbel Woodward museum for his Eagle Scout project! We cannot wait to put this room to some good research use!

The Franklin Historical Society welcomes in new president.

We will be participating in the 16th Annual CT OPEN HOUSE DAY Virtually! Because we have moved "Our Community Art Show to online you can take this opportunity to enjoy the many pieces of art presented by local talent on this day of events.

We will be kicking off the "I Spy Franklin

The Janet Carlson Calvert Library, in conjunction with the Ashbel Woodward Museum & Franklin Historical Society, are proud to present "I Spy Franklin".

"I Spy Franklin" is a series of letterboxes, or caches, which will be found all around town. Each box will contain a garden themed collectible for you to bring home to cultivate your own Summer Reading garden. Each box will contain a clue to the next, as well as historical trivia about the box's location.

I Spy Franklin is a part of the JCC Library's annual Summer Reading program.

Summer Reading materials and packets will be available in June and more fun details are to follow.

We look forward to an amazing Summer of reading!

June is Dr.Woodward’s birthday month! Help us celebrate Franklin’s very own historical hero by helping us continue one aspect of Dr, Woodward’s work of preserving Franklin History.

Even though we are closed due to the Covid Pandemic it wont stop us from hosting a "Tea" No need to dig out your Sunday best and drive all the way out to the museum. Instead stay at home in your comfy clothes and sip some( A'hehh)'Tea" and browse the Art show virtually, read about what we have been up to, or play along with the weekly trivia.

Although we are closed to the public we have been working behind the scene, archiving,digitizing, and organizing.

Help us keep the preservation going please consider to make a donation to our organization.

All donations can be made virtually via paypal or checks can be mailed to Friends of Ashbel Woodward Museum PO Box 73, N. Franklin, CT 06254

If you desire a letter for you donation please let us know and we will get it right out to you.

Use link below to make a donation through paypal. You do not need to have a paypal account.

Not seeing anything above? Reauthenticate