Franklin, Massachusetts

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The Town of Franklin is a city [1] in Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 32,838 at the 2009 census estimate.

Contents

History

Franklin was first settled by Europeans in 1660 and was officially incorporated in 1778. The city is also home to the birth place of America's father of public education, Horace Mann. Franklin is home to what may be the nation's oldest continuously operational one-room school house (Croydon, NH's school dates to 1780, but there is debate as to whether it is truly "one room"). The Red Brick School was started in 1792 and the building was constructed in 1833[2] and was operational until 2008. St. Mary's Catholic church, located in central Franklin, is the largest Catholic parish in the Boston Archdiocese with some 15,000 members. It is also home to the first public library, to which Benjamin Franklin donated his own books.

Geography

Franklin is located at 42°5′N 71°24′W / 42.083°N 71.4°W / 42.083; -71.4 (42.0891, -71.4069).[3]

According to the United States Census Bureau the town has a total area of 27.0 square miles (70 km2), of which 26.7 square miles (69 km2) is land and 0.3 square miles (0.78 km2) (1.00%) is water.

Most of Franklin lies within the Charles River watershed. Principal streams include Mine Brook, Shepard's Brook, Miller Brook, Uncas Brook, Dix Brook and Miscoe Brook. Much of the marshland along Mine Brook has been permanently protected by the Natural Valley Storage Project of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The extreme southwest corner of Franklin is part of the Blackstone River watershed. The town has an impounded series of lakes known as the Franklin Reservoir, but not used as a public drinking water supply. The lakes are now protected open space donated to the town by the late Ernest DelCarte. Beaver Pond also is a municipal recreation area and includes an artificial turf playing and recreation field, and playground. In the summer, it is a popular spot for swimming and fishing. The beach is also used for volleyball games. Significant public forests and parks include the Franklin State Forest, off Grove Street, the Franklin Town Forest, off Summer Street.

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